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Couple Sues Cruise Line For Volcano Eruption Burn Injuries

June 18, 2020
Colson Hicks Eidson

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on most people’s ability to enjoy a cruise. As was evidenced early during this pandemic, cruise ships are not the safest place to be when there is a highly infectious disease affecting the population. However, you can be sure that cruise ship operations will begin to return to normal. Recently, pre-pandemic, cruise ship passengers on a Royal Caribbean ship experienced tragedy after a volcanic eruption led to several fatalities and significant burns for passengers.

What Happened On The Royal Caribbean Cruise?

On December 9, 2019, Royal Caribbean cruise passengers were enjoying a vacation off the coast of New Zealand. As is customary for most cruise ship vacations, a group of 47 cruise passengers disembarked for an onshore excursion. Unfortunately, during this visit to the White Island volcano in New Zealand, the volcano erupted.

The eruption on White Island led to 21 fatalities. Many passengers who were not killed due to the eruption suffered significant injuries. Two of those passengers were Matthew Urey and Lauren Barham, a couple from Virginia who were on their honeymoon. They sustained burns to 54% and 23% of their bodies respectively, according to a lawsuit filed against Royal Caribbean.

In their lawsuit, the couple alleges that the cruise line and the excursion company were negligent in their duties because they did not inform them about the potential dangers of visiting White Island. A brochure for the Royal Caribbean shore excursion claimed that the volcano on the island was one of the most active in the world, but the couple alleges that the definition of an active volcano means that it had erupted at once at least during the last 10,000 years. The couple says that they were not told the volcano had erupted multiple times over the previous decade and that there had been recent seismic activity in the area that indicated there was a risk of an eruption occurring.

The Virginia couple is demanding judgment for all damages that are recoverable under the law, and they want a trial by jury for their case.

Responding to the lawsuit, Royal Caribbean said that “We continue to support the needs of those affected by this tragic incident. We respectfully decline further comment while the investigation is still proceeding.”

Let Us Get To Work On Your Case Today

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury caused by the negligent actions of a cruise line, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The team at Colson Hicks Eidson is nationally recognized for their work handling cruise line injury cases. We will get to work investigating every aspect of what happened to you in order to secure the compensation you need. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, as well as punitive damages against the cruise line.

When you need Miami cruise ship injury attorneys in Florida or anywhere throughout the United States, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at 305-476-7400.