Various sources are reporting that a Georgia family has announced its plans to sue Carnival Cruise Line. The suit is based on a particularly unusual situation whereby a teen that the family alleges was drunk entered their then 10-year-old child’s room and laid in bed with him during a 2016 Bahamas cruise.
The family stated that they were on the Carnival Victory ship sailing out of Port Canaveral on June 6, 2016. They sailed with their son and his cousin, and booked a room across the hall from the parents for the two children.
On the day of the incident, the parents claimed that they closed the door to the children’s room, so that they could nap, and went back to their room across the hall. Sometime later, as the father went to check on the children, he claims that he found an intoxicated 18-year-old lying in bed next to his son. The father stated that he grabbed the teen and alerted security, who then contacted the parents of the teen.
The father stated that the door had appeared to be fully closed, but when he went to knock on it, it opened, and he was thus able to enter the room without using a key. The lawsuit alleges that the cruise line should have known that, “an unsecured cabin door could lead to entrance of a trespassing passenger, which could lead to harm to its passengers.”
Carnival released a statement which said that the teen in question had a, “lifelong history of sleepwalking,” and that he “accidentally entered the wrong cabin and climbed into what he thought was his own bed.” Carnival further states that the door and lock were examined following the incident, and that the door lock was found to be working properly, thus it suggested that the door was likely left ajar. Carnival also disputes that the teen was drunk stating that, “[t]here is absolutely no evidence of an assault of any kind nor is there any evidence to suggest the teen who entered the cabin was served any alcohol on board.”
The family also finds fault with the cruise line for the physical examination that their son had to endure following the incident, which Carnival states the parents consented to. The lawsuit alleges that the teen who entered the room was not given a sobriety test or a sexual examination.
Local law enforcement in the Bahamas and ship security conducted an investigation following the accident, which did not lead to any criminal charges being filed.
Cruise lines owe their passengers a duty of reasonable care. The claims in this case seem to be centered on the allegations that the cabin door to the young boy’s room did not lock. While Carnival claims that the door was in proper working order, it could be that this door in question was not sealing properly, for whatever reason. If that is the case, then the family would have to show that the cruise line knew or should have known that the door was not locking properly in order to establish a breach of the duty of care Carnival owed its passengers. The Eleventh Circuit recently handed down a major decision on the actual or constructive notice requirement, which you can read about here.
If you or a loved one were injured aboard a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or suffering. Our firm’s experienced and specialized cruise ship attorneys in Miami help assure that victims of negligence receive fair and just compensation. If you were injured due to a cruise line’s negligence, contact the Miami personal injury law offices of Gerson & Schwartz, PA. For a free case consultation, call 877-475-2905 today.
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