There can be no doubt that a Disney cruise is fun for people of all ages. As a result, many parents entrust their children to onboard daycare facilities when they want to enjoy shore excursions or other adult activities. However, the adventure of a lifetime quickly turned to tragedy for one family who relied on this service to take care of their 3-year-old daughter. According to an October 14, 2021 article in South Florida’s NBC affiliate WPTV News Channel 5, the parents are suing the cruise line after the toddler was sexually assaulted by an older child at the facility. Representatives from Disney issued an official statement that the claims are without merit.
The lawsuit lists five separate claims for monetary damages, and a Miami cruise ship injuries lawyer can explain the details if you are facing a similar situation. You may also benefit from reviewing how allegations of sexual assault may lead to multiple claims for compensation, based upon multiple breaches of duty by the cruise line.
- Negligence for Sexual Assault: While this type of misconduct is obviously criminal in nature, this claim does NOT focus on the perpetrator. Instead, the allegation is that the cruise line did not exercise reasonable care in terms of security against criminal activity. Specifically, the family claims that the daycare center was understaffed, and that Disney failed to notify the parents about the attack.
- Negligent Supervision: When a party has a legal responsibility to monitor someone, it must make reasonable efforts to supervise that individual. The toddler in the recent case was just 3 years old and was sexually assaulted by a much older child. Reasonable in this context might involve separating children, possibly establishing a nursery daycare for younger passengers.
- Negligent Mode of Operation: This claim focuses on the business functions and decision-making of an organization, and whether that mode of operation creates a dangerous, unsafe condition. The circumstances surrounding the individual incident are not as important as how the company runs its business.
- Negligent Hiring and/or Retention: In their complaint, the toddler’s parents allege that the Disney employees working the onboard daycare center lacked sufficient training to prevent assault against children. Cruise operators are required to conduct background checks and vet crew members working throughout the ship; the company must also ensure that employees in specific roles have proper licensing, particularly those who work with children.
- Failure to Warn: This count alleges that Disney neglected to inform the family of the risks involved with leaving their child with the onboard daycare facility, resulting in injuries to the toddler.
Set Up a Free Consultation with Our Miami Cruise Ship Accidents Attorneys
It is a parent’s worst nightmare to learn that their child was attacked, but you may also feel helpless when at sea and miles from home. You can trust Gerson & Schwartz, PA to take on all essential tasks, so please contact us to schedule a no-cost case review at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.