A family cruise turned tragic when a parasailing excursion went awfully wrong, taking the life of a mother and wife. During the cruise, the mother and daughter purchased a shore excursion offered aboard the cruise ship, a parasail excursion which would take place after the ship docked at one of its scheduled stops.
After the parasail operators sent mom and daughter up in the sky, the rope broke off due to heavy winds and dangerous weather conditions. This resulted in the two passengers to plummet into the water at a very high rate of speed. The force of the impact caused traumatic injuries to daughter and mom sustained fatal injuries.
Leesfield Scolaro filed suit against the carrier and the tour operator. The cruise carrier argued that the tour operator was an independent contractor and that the responsibility of the cruise line could not and was not engaged. Ultimately, after several months of litigation, our maritime law attorneys secured a $7.25 million settlement on behalf of the family and daughter.
Shore excursion accidents
In every shore excursion injury case, cruise lines will systematically raise the same defenses and largely attempt to escape liability by pointing the finger to the tour operator in charge of the excursion. Our firm’s experience in litigating these very cases have resulted in over eight-figure combined recovery on behalf of our injuries clients.
The North American cruise industry has witnessed substantial growth over the past two decades, with passenger numbers increasing from 9.5 million in 2003 to a projected 31.5 million in 2023. This success is largely attributed to the continuous development of excursions which carriers cannot deny. While the appeal for cruising is partly found in the astonishing size and on-board activities cruise lines offer, the mainstaying reason people go on cruises is the itinerary and the shore excursions you can book at the time of booking or directly on the ship.
Cruise lines have taken note of the popularity of shore excursions from the very early days of cruising and that is why these shoreside activities can be purchased at the time of booking, directly on the cruise line’s website. This is not only for convenience. In fact, each and every purchase of a shore excursion results in shared revenue between the cruise line and the tour operator. Successfully establishing such business relationships in court has prevented cruise lines from feigning ignorance in total impunity when one of its passengers is injured during an excursion and push the blame entirely on (“their business partners”) the tour operator.
With decades of litigation experience, Leesfield Scolaro is recognized as one of the Nation’s leading trial law firm for prevailing while navigating the obstacles created by cruise lines in shore excursion cases. Our maritime law attorneys have handled numerous excursions claims ranging from land vehicles rolling over or falling off cliffs, to passengers drowning or becoming disabled due to life-altering injuries.
If you were involved in a shore excursion incident that resulted in injuries to you, be reminded that time is of the essence. Cruise ticket contracts enjoy a very short statute of limitations for injured passengers to act. If they fail to act within a short period of time, their claim will be barred forever. Furthermore, an even shorter amount of time exist to place cruise lines on notice of an injury claim, therefore, in order to avoid any surprise, act now and contact our firm immediately.