MIAMI – The plaintiffs in a negligence claim against Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. suffered a setback in April when Judge Federico Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida agreed to dismiss six of seven allegations contained in a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs David Disler and Kurt Weber.
According to court records, Disler suffered a stroke while at se and contends that Royal Caribbean's alleged refusal to seek medical attention for more than 24 hours led to brain damage and partial paralysis.
A seven-count complaint suggests Royal Caribbean could have ordered an immediate medical evacuation that might have prevented Disler's disabling injuries.
Moreno cited the high legal bar for a plaintiff surviving a motion to dismiss and stressed the need for factual allegations in the complaint.
A disagreement about whether state or maritime law primarily applies was also part of the discussion in this case. Moreno said maritime law would prevail over state law, which is the standard the plaintiff's sought.
Case law does give cruise lines some protection from responsibilities, although other courts have questioned the broad immunity that seems to exist for cruise lines, Moreno wrote.
The judge dismissed three initial counts, Florida common law negligence, direct corporate common law negligence and common law negligence training. Moreno also dismissed count five, common law punitive damages and claims based on violation of maritime law and loss of consortium. As for a plaintiff’s claim against Royal Caribbean of “unseaworthiness,” the court found that provision of maritime law to only apply to crew or staff and not passengers.
Moreno did not dismiss count four – assumption of duty under restatement of torts. He gave plaintiff Disler time to refile counts one through three under maritime rather than state laws.