Deal Ends Disney's Legal Battles in Florida

Company, DeSantis allies welcome 'new chapter'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2024 2:10 PM CDT
Disney-DeSantis Legal Battle Is Over in Florida
The Cinderella Castle is seen at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, July 14, 2023, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

The long-running legal battle between Disney and allies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is over—in the Florida courts, at least. The board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, installed by DeSantis to oversee Disney's special tax district, has agreed to a settlement that will end numerous legal actions involving Disney, including a lawsuit that was due to go to trial in June, CNN reports.

  • The deal. It declares the agreement signed in the final days of the Reedy Creek Improvement District to be "null and void," the Washington Post reports. Under the deal, neither side will be required to admit fault or liability in the lawsuits they've filed against each other, reports CNN. Disney now plans to negotiate a new agreement for its development plans in the district.
  • Disney welcomes settlement. "We are pleased to put an end to all litigation pending in state court in Florida between Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District," Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said in a statement. He said the agreement "opens a new chapter of constructive engagement with the new leadership of the district," per the AP.
  • Federal lawsuit is pending. The Orlando Sentinel reports that a federal lawsuit involving DeSantis and Disney remains pending. In the First Amendment lawsuit, Disney said the governor was retaliating against it for opposing his legislation. A federal judge dismissed the suit in January but Disney is appealing.
(More Florida stories.)

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