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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Royal Caribbean Defeats Infant Fall Claim In Florida


Prior to the pandemic, one of the biggest stories to come out of the cruise industry was the tragic tale of a grandfather who placed his granddaughter on a ledge. The grandfather, believing that there was a pane of glass behind her, was propping her up so she could bang on the glass like she did at her brother’s hockey games. The grandfather did not realize that he placed his granddaughter on the one ledge that did not have any glass behind it. The infant fell backward over the ledge and died as a result of her injuries.

What ensued was a real mess. The family blamed Royal Caribbean for violating its own policy that the windows were to be shut in the children’s play area where the girl died. The grandfather, on the other hand, faced charges in Puerto Rico for negligent homicide. He was convicted after he pled guilty to the charges but was not given jail time for the incident. The family continued to pursue their lawsuit against Royal Caribbean until last week when a federal judge decided to dismiss the lawsuit. Below, we’ll take a look at the plaintiff’s claims.

Cruise ships and premises liability 

The three most frequent types of lawsuits filed against cruise lines allege 1) premises liability 2) medical malpractice, and 3) sexual assault. Almost anything that happens on a cruise line is considered premises liability and that actually includes sexual assault lawsuits which are typically filed on a theory of negligent security. Medical malpractice lawsuits occur when one of the thousands of passengers aboard the vessel gets sick and must go to the ship infirmary for treatment. Sexual assault lawsuits remain a major issue aboard cruise vessels where jurisdiction is clouded.

In this case, the plaintiffs alleged that Royal Caribbean contributed to a dangerous condition within the child’s play area that ultimately led to the girl’s death. However, it was the grandfather that failed to notice that the pane of glass was missing. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs believed they had a case because Royal Caribbean policy required the windows to be shut when there were children in the play area. However, the contribution of the grandfather’s negligence was more than their case could overcome.

Those who are negligent in causing their own injuries are allowed to press forward with personal injury lawsuits in Florida. In fact, Florida is one of the most difficult states in which to get a lawsuit dismissed. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs, in this case, could not generate a bona fide allegation against the cruise line accusing them of negligence. Since it was the plaintiff who placed the girl in danger, the lawsuit was dismissed.

Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.


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