Falling Death of 8-Year-Old Girl in Miami Highlights Cruise Ship Dangers
A recent, troubling story from Miami puts cruise ship safety, especially concerning young children, right in focus. In this post, our cruise ship injury team at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green will review the tragic case and explore some of the dangers posed by cruise ships, sources of many personal injury and wrongful death cases litigated in South Florida. Please read below our Cruise Ship Injury Cases Blog and How to Avoid Them.
In mid-October, an 8-year-old girl fell to her death on a Carnival cruise ship as it was docked in Port Miami. As the Miami Herald reported, the young girl was on the fifth floor of the cruise ship with her family, waiting to disembark the ship. Trying to get a better view of the crowd exiting the ship, the young child was on her toes peeking down over the railing. A witness described how the girl hit her head on a table as she fell to stories (from the fifth to the third story of the ship). The young Bahamian girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.
While we still don’t know what caused the young girl to fall over the railing to her death, but, as our cruise ship injury lawyers know, there are a number of possibilities which could result in liability for the cruise ship. Perhaps the railing was wobbly or otherwise deficient. Maybe a passerby accidentally bumped into the young girl, pushing her over the railing. On the other hand, maybe there was no negligence involved in this case whatsoever—perhaps it was just a tragic accident. Still, this story can serve remind us all that cruise ship injuries are common, and often they involve negligence or a failure to meet a certain standard of care.
It might seem obvious, but it is important not to forget that cruises present relatively significant chances of drowning, especially to children who are less able to tread water than healthy adults. Not only are cruise ships often out at sea, but many cruise ships have multiple pools onboard. All of these bodies of water raise the likelihood that a drowning accident might occur. Additionally, cruise ship pools tend to be heavily-visited; if a child is struggling to stay above water, it can often be hard for the young one to do so when surrounded by large adults who may be unaware of the child trying to save him or herself. With the crowd and associated noise, it can be hard for lifeguards to adequate supervise the pools.
As illustrated by the tragic case explored above, large cruise ships with multiple levels and decks entail serious dangers, especially for young children who may be able to slide under railings or fall in floor or wall gaps in ways that adults cannot. As our cruise ship injury lawyers understand, when children are aboard cruise ships, even if they are not in danger of drowning, they must be watched carefully and kept away from ledges, slippery stairs, and or other areas on which they could slip, fall or otherwise hurt themselves.
Finally, it should come as no surprise that cruise ships are sometimes laden with germs. The large vessels out at sea place food, people, toilets, and medical equipment in close proximity. The result is that bacteria can grow and be transmitted more easily than on the mainland, where necessities and unsanitary items are often separated more clearly. Further, once someone gets sick aboard a cruise ship, the illness—because of the close quarters—tends to spread more quickly than it would otherwise. This, of course, affects young children—who typically have weaker immune systems than teenagers or adults—disproportionately.
If you have any questions about this or any other personal injury or wrongful death issue, or if you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, please let us know. To schedule a free consultation, you may call us at 561-266-9191 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With offices in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Wellington, we are ready and able to assist you.