Arnold & Itkin Takes On Cruise Line Royal Caribbean

Houston-based law firm Arnold & Itkin has filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean on behalf of a client who suffered injuries on the line's Anthem of the Seas during a violent storm

Feb 25, 2016, 15:55 ET from Arnold & Itkin LLP

HOUSTON, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Sunday, February 7, 2016, the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas was tossed around by heavy winds and fierce waves. Anthem of the Seas is a highly acclaimed mega ship that boasts impressive technology and lavish attractions; the owners describe it as one of the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world.

Despite the bells and whistles, Anthem of the Seas headed straight into a violent storm—a storm that Royal Caribbean had plenty of advanced warning about with the weather forecast. Now, Royal Caribbean claims it will be updating its storm avoidance policy and warning system for captains—something that passenger's would likely presume the world's most technologically advanced already had in place. 

After taking a beating at sea, a calm in the storm allowed the ship to turn around and head back to port instead of carrying on with the voyage, which included another potential storm along the way. Though the damage to the ship was minimal compared to the tragedy that could have ensued, Royal Caribbean shouldn't consider itself out of choppy waters.

Arnold & Itkin LLP has since filed a lawsuit (Case No. 1:16-cv-20595) against the cruise line on behalf of an injured passenger. Their client endured injuries to his face, hands, torso, and head, which could have been deadly, as he has two aneurysms. The blow to the head also caused their client to lose consciousness. If the aneurysms would have been hit during the unpredictable rolling and swaying of the ship, his "relaxing vacation" may have ended much more tragically. The medical care he received from the ship's team was allegedly very poor following the incident—he had to wait until the next day to be seen because the medical team was caring for other injured passengers.

The firm believes it is important to file suit so that travelers can be made more aware of the rights and safeties they give up when buying a ticket for a cruise—including the limited medical capabilities aboard these ships.

"We want to send a warning to cruise lines that they shouldn't take risks with the lives of their passengers," said Attorney Jason Itkin. "We believe Royal Caribbean was under financial pressure to start the cruise on time. They took a calculated risk when they sent their passengers into the storm, and we don't think the passengers should be the ones that pay for Royal Caribbean's lack of judgement."

This type of profits-over-passengers approach is something the firm is very familiar with. In the case of the El Faro, 33 crew members lost their lives at sea when the cargo ship sailed toward Hurricane Joaquin and eventually sunk. TOTE, the ship owners, had every warning needed to change the ship's route or provide instructions to the captain, but they failed to do so. This cost of the lives of 33 individuals aboard the ship.

"As we file this lawsuit, a Marine Board hearing in Jacksonville, Florida is under way with the goal of discovering why 33 mariners perished when the cargo ship El Faro foundered during Hurricane Joaquin. It suggests an alarming trend of ship operators risking lives in order to maintain tight schedules and guard profits," said Attorney Itkin.

Arnold & Itkin LLP is a Houston-based offshore injury firm that represents clients in a broad range of maritime cases. The firm has secured more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements in the last 5 years alone. Their record-setting and trial-tested offshore injury attorneys are well-equipped to take on even the toughest cases. Learn more about the firm by visiting their website:

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SOURCE Arnold & Itkin LLP