Parents of Autistic Children File Suit Against Royal Caribbean

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Anthem of the Seas is a Royal Caribbean ship. When this ship set sail on February 6, 2016, it did so despite the fact there were severe weather alerts along its route. Despite warnings from the National Weather Service and other authorities about strong storms coming, Anthem of the Seas did not delay or change course. Instead, the captain of the ship reportedly told passengers that he intended to “outrun the growing storm” which was building along the east coast.

Unfortunately, the result of this decision was the ship sailed directly into the storm and passengers were subjected to hours of intense winds and adverse weather. The ship was essentially in a hurricane and families endured hours of terror and trauma.

Among the many passengers aboard the ship suffering through this storm were 40 families with autistic children. The parents and caregivers of these children have now filed suit against Royal Caribbean. Their claims are not the first, as Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is representing more than 300 people currently pursuing a class action case against Royal Caribbean.

Autistic Children & Other Passengers Endure Terror on the Anthem of the Seas

The Palm Beach post recently reported on the trauma endured by the 40 families with autistic children who were aboard Anthem of the Seas when the ship ignored weather warnings issued four days prior to the time it set sail.

When the ship unsurprisingly hit the storms that had been predicted, passengers were forced to endure hurricane force winds off the Carolinas. The children aboard the ship who are on the autism spectrum were “hurled against cabin walls, floors, and furniture,” according to accounts from the Palm Beach Post. Many sustained physical injuries from the incident, and both the children and their caregivers experienced emotional distress.

The 40 families believe Royal Caribbean was negligent in its decision to sail despite the storm and that this negligence caused direct harm to passengers. Royal Caribbean had on two previous occasions over the past two months cut short other Anthem of the Seas trips as a result of similar storms which also threatened gail-force winds. It is unclear why the decision was made in this particular instance not to adjust the itinerary for the storm.

A previous statement from the cruise line had indicated planning gaps were to blame for the bad decision to set sail, but a more recent statement sent to the Palm Beach Post was essentially a denial of liability. Royal Caribbean claimed in its statement that the lawsuits pending based on the ship sailing into the storm did not have merit. Royal Caribbean also claimed that the storm was unexpectedly severe; that the captain should be commended for keeping the cruise ship safe and minimizing injuries among passengers; and that the crew “took great care in attending to the needs of all guests.”

Passengers, however, feel they were both physically and emotionally injured. The 40 families with children on the autism spectrum, along with more than 300 victims, assert they were harmed by the decision made to take the Anthem of the Seas into the storm. Those who were affected deserve fair compensation for the damage they endured.

Give LMAW a call today at 877-233-1238 to learn how our maritime attorneys who have strong backgrounds in cruise ship injury cases can help. Call to schedule a consultation or contact us online to learn more.