Passengers may sue after stormy seas lead to injury

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Passengers may sue after stormy seas lead to injury

15th December 2010

An expert in international litigation has said she expects passengers to claim compensation after the luxury cruise ship they were travelling on was caught in stormy seas in the Mediterranean.

Two of those on board had to receive treatment for broken bones after the liner - the Brilliance of the Seas - was pounded by winds of up to 80mph, heavy rain and gigantic waves on its way to Alexandria, Egypt.

Katherine Allen, head of the Travel and International Litigation team with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the storm caused the 90,000-tonne vessel to list violently. "There are reports of waves crashing over windows as high as the 10th deck, sending furniture and passengers flying and causing power cuts in some areas," she said. "It must have been a terrifying ordeal for everyone on board."

The incident happened just over a week into a scheduled 12-night cruise. The crew were forced to abandon the stopover in Egypt, instead continuing to the next port of call in Malta.

"While cruise operators cannot be held responsible for adverse weather conditions, they are duty bound to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of their passengers at all times," said Katherine. "Some of the passengers have reported windows and computers being smashed, debris spread across corridors, furniture moving around and being upended and even a fallen Christmas tree in the main atrium," she said.

"It appears from these initial reports there may have been a failing to heed warnings about the bad weather and either take steps to avoid it or, at the very least, to ensure that passengers were warned about the conditions and that the cruise liner was prepared for any eventuality."

Two people suffered fractured bones after the battering by the sea, while a number of other passengers are being treated for minor injuries by medical staff on board the ship.

"The sea appears to have become more volatile than the crew had anticipated, subjecting the passengers to an alarming experience," said Katherine. "However if warnings as to the poor weather were not heeded, and if safety protocols such as securing heavy items as far as possible were not followed, then I would fully expect anyone injured in the incident to be making a claim for compensation."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to accidents or injuries sustained while travelling abroad.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Read more at - Sky News