Every year, millions of people board cruise ships in search of adventure and relaxation. Most people never imagine that they could suffer a cruise injury that not only ruins their vacation, but also could impact their entire life. That is certainly the case for a 26-year-old Washington man who is recovering from a cruise injury he suffered while enjoying one of the many on-board activities.
Cruise Injury Lawsuit Information
26-year-old Casey Holladay was planning to enjoy a weekend cruise to the Bahamas in February 2019, when the unthinkable happened. He was a passenger aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Mariner of the Seas”, and was decided to try out the “Sky Pad” activity. The Sky Pad is a bungee trampoline activity that is new to Royal Caribbean’s ships. It includes a large trampoline and a dome, where the cables are attached.
In a video sent to ABC News, you can clearly see Holladay doing flips and enjoying the activity. Just moments later, the video shows one strap snapping, then the other, and then Holladay disappears from view. He plummeted more than 20 feet to the deck below, landing on the hard decking, rather than the trampoline.
The impact shattered his pubis, which is located inside the pelvic wall. He also suffered from bruised ribs and a dislocated shoulder. Holladay was placed in the ship’s medical facility while the ship returned to port in Miami. He was then transferred to a Trauma Center, where he stayed for the next 10 days.
Holladay has now filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean alleging that the company failed to operate the Sky Pad activity safely. The lawsuit notes that there was no safety net or padding on the deck below the attraction.
Holladay continues to battle limited mobility, and has had substantial surgery to repair his pelvic area. He has numerous screws and plates installed, and is considered disabled. The orthopedic injuries were significant enough that doctors warn he will likely require a lifetime of ongoing care, including possible hip replacements in the future.
The lawsuit is seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages and an unidentified amount in punitive damages. Royal Caribbean has not commented on the lawsuit, but issued a statement that “We operate all our ships safely, professionally, and responsibly”.
Pelvic Injuries Have Life-Long Impact on Victims
For accident victims like Holladay, a cruise injury costs much more than the immediate physical pain. Pelvic injuries often have a long-term, or life-long impact on the victim. The pelvic bone serves as protection for internal organs like the bladder, bowels, and sexual organs. It also protects major blood vessels and nerves leading to the legs.
The pelvis is comprised of three joints – the pubis, and two sacroiliac joints. When these joints are disrupted by fractures or shatter injuries, the integrity of the entire pelvic area is compromised. Surgery is required to stabilize the pelvis and ensure that all three joints are in their proper position.
Recovering from a Pelvic Injury
Most pelvic injuries require a series of treatments and ongoing recovery. Patients will often find that they have limited mobility and cannot put weight on their legs for eight weeks or longer. During this time, a wheelchair or crutches are required. Once the initial injury is healed, patients often require physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Patients will work with therapists to improve strength and mobility, address weight-bearing issues, and initiate blood clot prevention strategies. As long as treatment is initiated properly and the patient does not develop complications, pelvic injuries most often heal without incident. The recovery process can take anywhere from three months or longer, depending on the severity of the injury.
Pelvic injuries can cause problems along the way, and patients should be careful to report any side effects or complications to their healthcare provider. Serious pelvic injuries like the cruise injury suffered by Holladay, can lead to long-term complications and risks, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Bladder or bowel problems
- Kidney problems
- Damaged blood vessels
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Need for additional surgeries
Serious pelvic injuries can be life-threatening, and patients who have a pelvic injury should report any symptoms associated with these conditions as soon as possible.
Cruise Injury Statistics
Cruise injury statistics show that a wide array of accidents and incidents can cause injury to those onboard. From 2005 to 2011, around 100 million people boarded cruise ships. Since 2005, at least 448 major accidents have been reported, which resulted in:
- 16 deaths
- 300 reports of a passenger falling overboard
- 66 ships ran aground
- 72 reports of sexual assault
Any of these incidents could result in a cruise injury. Further, in addition to accidents, cruise ship passengers also face the risk of illnesses, which are a common cause of cruise injury. In 2010 and 2011, there were at least 14 gastrointestinal illness outbreaks on cruise ships. That number rose to 16 outbreaks in 2012.
Norovirus is one of the leading causes of cruise ship illnesses. It is estimated that more than 56,000 people are hospitalized each year in the U.S. due to Norovirus.
Cruise Ship Accidents and Your Legal Rights
No matter how much we would like to believe that accidents and injuries won’t affect us on vacation, for thousands of people each year, that is exactly what happens. Not all accidents on cruise ships are devastating or result in life-altering injuries, but even minor injuries can have a profound impact on those involved.
Some accidents are purely that, and cannot be avoided no matter how careful we are. However, in the case of a cruise injury like what Mr. Holladay suffered, the accident may have been preventable. If the court determines that the cruise ship staff did not properly and safely operate and maintain the Sky Pad activity, then Royal Caribbean may be held liable for Mr. Holladay’s injuries, expenses, and other financial losses.
If you have been injured while on a cruise ship, and you believe that your injury was the result of negligence, contact a maritime injury attorney to discuss your legal rights. At Maritime Injury Guide, we can help you explore your situation and determine if you have a case. Our injury consultations are always free. Fill out our online form to get started.