U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel > Cruises
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-13-2018, 05:40 PM
 
17,249 posts, read 10,176,823 times
Reputation: 28762

Advertisements

The first instinct in any lawsuits such as these is to either mock the victim's family as money grubbers or somehow diminish their viewpoint.

The way I look at it, even though Royal Caribbean used an outside vendor, they still should have responsibility for the irresponsible manner in which the zip line company acted. The family could have asked for a lot more, and a million is chump change (Royal Carribean's net income last year was a little over one billion dollars).

https://www.marketwatch.com/press-re...ses-2018-12-12

Quote:
Attorneys from Chalik and Chalik, a personal injury law firm based in South Florida, filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. following a horrible zipline accident that left one man dead and his newlywed wife seriously injured.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-14-2018, 03:45 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,879 posts, read 8,655,358 times
Reputation: 8401
Doubting the validity of the claim is not synonymous with diminishing the victim's family's viewpoint. The victim's family has suffered a loss. There's no doubt about the significance of that.

The question in a civil lawsuit, though, is whether there is financial liability. Too often the courts are used to exact revenge (against the world, perhaps) in proportion to sympathy rather than in proportion to validity. That damages the integrity of the system, itself, and people shouldn't be making excuses for that, and especially shouldn't be tugging on heartstrings to do so.

There probably will be a financial settlement in this case, and there have been in similar previous cases, but in no way should that be interpreted as an objective establishment of actual fault or blame. The fact that there won't be a way to know whether there was any actual fault or blame should be seen as a regrettable reflection of corruptive elements in our society, spurred on by personal injury law firms that actually think it is appropriate to issue news releases about lawsuits they file, probably to manipulate the process by way of publicity, rather than waiting for a court determination.

A couple of notes on the claims made, themselves: First, "at least one prior lawsuit" doesn't mean anything for the reason mentioned previously. Even a court determination is suspect in these cases, but the existence of a prior lawsuit is truly meaningless.

Second, "misled to believe that the excursion was operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises" verges on (literally) incredible. For every cruise we've been on in the last twenty years, the excursion materials go to extreme lengths to make available to passengers the reality... just pulling one brochure out at random:
  • "We are confident that each independent tour operator will make every effort to accommodate ..."
  • "... independent tour operators offer exceptional guidance"
  • "[Excursions] are “Non-Holland America Line Services”..."
  • "... This means that tours are not owned or operated by Holland America Line."
  • "In particular, please note that you are assuming the entire risk of utilizing Non-Holland America Line Services subject only to whatever terms or arrangements are made by you or on your behalf with the third party furnishing the Non-Holland America Line Services."
  • "Holland America Line does not assume liability for injuries or damages that occur during or as a result of EXC Tours, nor is Holland America Line liable for loss of or damage to any baggage or other property which occurs ashore, for any reason whatsoever."
And if you think Royal Caribbean is any different from Holland America, then you don't understand the cruise industry.

The lawyer's claim, "There is no way for guests to know that this zip line excursion was not being operated by Royal Caribbean," is absolute nonsense. [Emphasis added.] There are many ways. It can be argued that it is quite difficult to avoid learning this fact. I cannot imagine that an impartial process will see any merit in the claim that a reasonable person would think that the excursion is operated by the cruise line. The fact that that claim is called out in the law firm's news release should be considered by people as a clarion call that the law firm may fall into that category I outlined above.

Lawyers sometimes sue cruise lines instead of just the excursion operator simply because the cruise line represents lots of money and is at high risk of lost reputation when bashed in the media, while the excursion operator probably has no money to sue for, and/or is based in Honduras and therefore is both more difficult for a US-based law firm to sue and the law firm is less likely to win a pay out out of proportion to the actual blame there.

The story here isn't about Royal Caribbean or even about Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour. The real news story here is about the way personal injury law firms abuse the legal system.

I know nothing about Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour. A quick search shows that they are among the highest rated zip line operators in the Caribbean. As I mentioned above, we'll probably never know who was actually at fault nor by how much. It is even possible that the whole tragic incident was not the fault of either the cruise line nor the tour operator, but we'll never really be able to find out due to how our legal system is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
Reputation: 24136
"The suit alleges that Royal Caribbean was aware of safety issues with the Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour and had been subject to at least one prior lawsuit involving the company, when a woman severed both her legs during the same excursion in 2015. Royal Caribbean was made aware of at least 10 other accidents involving the exact same excursion operator."

IF that is true (and can be proven), I would agree that RCCL has some liability in this tragedy. (But my gut says that it's either balihey, or the prior incidents were with a different vendor.)

"The lawsuit says the family was misled to believe that the excursion was operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises, when in fact, the company leading the tour, Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour, was an independent contractor. The excursion was promoted by Royal Caribbean, sold to guests at the shore excursion desk on board the ship and plaintiffs paid for the activity using their Seapass cards on the ship"

I'm not buying that one damn bit. And even if they did not know it was an outside vendor, the blame for that lies with them for not reading the small print. AND I'm positive they signed some kind of legal waiver beforehand (which doesn't always eliminate liability, but certainly reminds people of the potential for inhury).

One more point that I believe has some validity. By its nature, zip lining involves some level of risk. Free choice and active brain cells make it incumbent on the participant to consider that risk prior to signing up for the activity. And yes, I've gone zip lining and damn well knew there is a risk factor. Did it once, assumed the risk, was thrilled with it, won't do it again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
Reputation: 24136
[quote=Suburban_Guy;53879394]

The way I look at it, even though Royal Caribbean used an outside vendor, they still should have responsibility for the irresponsible manner in which the zip line company acted. /QUOTE]

Where does it say the vendor after irresponsibly????????
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,743 posts, read 3,198,247 times
Reputation: 4057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
"The suit alleges that Royal Caribbean was aware of safety issues with the Extreme Caribe Zip Line Tour and had been subject to at least one prior lawsuit involving the company, when a woman severed both her legs during the same excursion in 2015. Royal Caribbean was made aware of at least 10 other accidents involving the exact same excursion operator."

IF that is true (and can be proven), I would agree that RCCL has some liability in this tragedy. (But my gut says that it's either balihey, or the prior incidents were with a different vendor.)

Yes, I agree too, under those circumstances. It appears there may be negligence on part of the vendor which certainly opens the door wider. Not sure how RCCL can exclude itself from this when they were aware of other incidents as well as benefiting financially by the transaction of booking the tour.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-15-2018, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
Reputation: 24136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
Yes, I agree too, under those circumstances. It appears there may be negligence on part of the vendor which certainly opens the door wider. Not sure how RCCL can exclude itself from this when they were aware of other incidents as well as benefiting financially by the transaction of booking the tour.

IF they were aware.

Good point about RCCL benefiting financially. I hadn't thought of that.


I've no doubt the plaintiff and their lawyers are not very interested in going after the vendor. They are in Honduras. How much money do ya think they are gonna have? And how difficult will it be to collect? So RCCL becomes the defendant of choice, whether they are responsible/negligant or not.


Crystal ball says: Out of court settlement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2018, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
6,394 posts, read 4,172,123 times
Reputation: 5695
The cruise lines markup the cost of the excursions they sell on board. Why they don't mark it up a little more and provide liability insurance, I don't know. If they did I am sure the insurance companies that would provide it would make the cruise line investigate the providers before they sell it. The cruise lines are making money off of these excursions. If they want to continue doing so(if they stop they would lose a lot of cruise passengers) they should take some responsibility for the safety of the people they are selling to.

That said, when I purchase excursions off the ship, I primarily do so because I want be be assured that the ship will wait for us to get back if the provider is late returning us, or the cruise line will pay for lodging and airfare to get us to the next port. Otherwise, I just buy theirs because I don't want to be bothered to research outside vendors. I know of one port that if, I ever get back to and have the time, I will find some way of getting to a beach that I saw when I was there before, that is not on any of the ships' excursion list. I won't say what or where because i want to keep it uncrowded for the chance I might someday get there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2018, 05:07 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,879 posts, read 8,655,358 times
Reputation: 8401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
The cruise lines markup the cost of the excursions they sell on board. Why they don't mark it up a little more and provide liability insurance, I don't know.
Why are you assuming that the cost of fighting baseless, opportunistic law suits isn't built into the price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
If they did I am sure the insurance companies that would provide it would make the cruise line investigate the providers before they sell it.
Though travel agencies are a dying breed, they've existed for decades and have never been held legally responsible for doing more than just a cursory (read: desk) review of the vendors that they arrange flights, hotels and tours with. And that is despite the fact that arranging flights, hotels and tours is all they do; it's the core of their business; it isn't a sideline like it is with cruise lines. It might be a stretch to tag cruise lines even with the limited obligations that a travel agency would be tagged with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
The cruise lines are making money off of these excursions. If they want to continue doing so(if they stop they would lose a lot of cruise passengers) they should take some responsibility for the safety of the people they are selling to.
That's one perspective. To be honest, I am indifferent between the opposing perspectives - my interest is solely that whatever is the law, it should be administered uniformly, fairly, justly and without corruption from any quarter - not even those incited to outrage by reading a law firm's press release that is carefully crafted to deceive and manipulate.

The reality is that what you described is not the law. Travel agencies, cruise lines, and others who arrange tours and such have limited liability: They are required to be especially knowledgeable and informative with regard to the terms and conditions of what they are offering, i.e., the business side of the transaction. Beyond that, their responsibilities are quite limited: They are required to provide whatever negative information that they have but not required to seek out negative information, not even information that consumers can as readily obtain for themselves. They are required to provide general advisories about areas, but not advisories regarding specific choices the consumer makes, other than what they already know about those choices.

In order for there to be any true liability on the part of the travel agency/cruise line, they would have to make specific representations that are later proven to be false. A highly-cited relevant case is Stevenson v. Four Winds Travel, Inc. In that case, the possibility for liability was affirmed specifically because the travel agency made specific representations that later were proven false, including, "Four Winds also guarantees that every tour will be escorted by a qualified professional tour director. Our directors have been carefully selected and trained... From the moment you leave until your journey ends, you are cared for by a carefully selected Four Winds Tour escort." By contrast, the cruise line in this case made representations that unequivocally disclaim responsibility.

Abuse of the legal system is a matter of public interest and legitimate public concern. As I mentioned earlier, it is likely that there probably will be a financial settlement in this case. That hurts all of us, as that cost gets built into the price we all pay. Effectively, anyone brazen enough to put a big company with a reputation to protect up against the ropes gets rewarded for their corrupt behavior, and we all pay the price.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2018, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
11,043 posts, read 3,982,486 times
Reputation: 13557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
IF they were aware.

Good point about RCCL benefiting financially. I hadn't thought of that.


I've no doubt the plaintiff and their lawyers are not very interested in going after the vendor. They are in Honduras. How much money do ya think they are gonna have? And how difficult will it be to collect? So RCCL becomes the defendant of choice, whether they are responsible/negligant or not.


Crystal ball says: Out of court settlement.
Yes, RCCL will probably settle out of court just to make it go away. They might even be able to use their liability insurance to pay the claim. All excursions have disclaimers stating they are not affiliated with the cruise lines, but in a case like this a family will hire a lawyer that will go after whoever they can to get a settlement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2018, 07:23 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,879 posts, read 8,655,358 times
Reputation: 8401
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
They might even be able to use their liability insurance to pay the claim.
I suspect a company as large at RCL is self-insured. Even back in 1996 they were advocating in front of the Federal Maritime Commission for self-insurance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel > Cruises
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top