Class Action Filed Against Royal Caribbean Over Storm-Tossed Cruise

By Freida Frisaro | March 1, 2016

A passenger from a cruise ship that was battered by a major storm in the Atlantic Ocean filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Royal Caribbean in Miami federal court, his lawyer said Thursday.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Michael Winkleman says Royal Caribbean “knew or should have known” of warnings for hurricane-force winds in the Atlantic before Anthem of the Seas set sail Feb. 6 from Bayonne, New Jersey.

The 4,500 passengers hunkered down as the ship encountered 30-foot waves off North Carolina the next day. A portion of the propulsion system was damaged, and the Miami-based cruise line canceled the seven-day cruise, returning to New Jersey. Passengers received a refund and certificate for half off a future cruise.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Frank DeLuca of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, includes forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Prediction Center, which noted the possibility of storm-force winds along the coast near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on Feb. 7. The agency on Feb. 5 issued a storm warning for the area.

According to the lawsuit, passengers had to hold onto their beds or anything else “to keep from falling due to the severe crashing of waves and listing of the vessel” for about 12 hours. Furniture was overturned, broken glass littered the ship, elevators were inoperable and water rushed through numerous areas of the ship.

Any passenger who was on the ship can be represented by the lawsuit, which alleges gross negligence on the part of Royal Caribbean. The lawsuit seeks punitive damages for severe emotional, psychological and emotional stress endured by passengers.

At least one other lawsuit was filed over the incident — on Feb. 18 by Bruce Simpson of Delaware, who was also onboard Anthem of the Seas.

Under terms of passenger tickets, most lawsuits against cruise lines are filed in South Florida federal court.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said via email that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Associated Press Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson in Miami contributed to this report.


Get Insurance Journal Every Day

Latest Comments

  • March 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm
    Agent says:
    Hey FFA. Saw a good political cartoon this morning. Picture of Ronald Reagan: If I were President, ISIS would be WASWAS. I have no doubt about that. Ghadafi found out in a hur... read more
  • March 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm
    Celtica says:
    People who book a cruise accept certain risks, however, having the Captain knowingly sail into hurricane force winds when it could have been avoided, is not one of those risks... read more
  • March 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm
    Captain Planet says:
    Oh, we're going to get nasty, all right! Bring a snorkel and any other toys you might think sound fun.
See all comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


More News
More News Features