A class action lawsuit has been filed against Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCCL) at the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, US, for allegedly endangering lives of passengers set to depart on a cruise journey from the Port of Galveston during the recent attack of Hurricane Harvey.
The suit has been filed by Maritime Attorney Michael Winkleman from the US-based law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman (LMAW) on behalf of dozens of passengers who were supposed to set sail out of Galveston, Texas, US, on 27 August.
The suit has alleged that despite Hurricane Harvey flooding parts of Texas, RCCL told passengers that they would not receive any refund if they did not board one of its vessels. RCCL’s Liberty of the Seas vessel was booked by the passengers for the said journey.
The suit states: “RCCL’s misconduct was predicated on a profit motive because, simply put, cruise lines like RCCL make no money when passengers don’t sail.
“RCCL’s knowing and intentional decision to effectively force individuals who had purchased a cruise aboard the Liberty of the Seas leaving 27 August 2017 to fly to Texas while it was in a state of emergency due to Hurricane Harvey, because RCCL would not cancel or modify its planned cruise.
“In so doing, RCCL forced hundreds of would-be passengers, including children and the elderly, to be subjected to catastrophic flooding and potential loss of life.”
LMAW further noted that one of the passengers, Nikki McIntosh, contacted RCCL to confirm the status of the journey before flying into Texas from Canada.
McIntosh alleged that RCCL misguided her by saying that ‘despite the category 4 hurricane barrelling down, the ship would set sail’.
She has also blamed RCCL for remained trapped in Houston for six days, along with her husband and two children.