Eight passengers have filed a lawsuit in a Miami federal court on Monday against Royal Caribbean Cruises for a crash in January last year that left one traveler dead and wounded several others.
The plaintiffs include residents from Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina, and one man from Florida. They are requesting damages and a trail by jury for the “permanent or continuing” injures they sustained that will cause them to suffer “loses and impairments in the future.”
According to the lawsuit, the accident occurred on January 14, 2016, in Falmouth, Jamaica. The passengers were on a five-day cruise from Port Everglades when they disembarked at a port in Jamaica to go on an trip to Dolphin Cove.
The trip was offered by Royal Caribbean to all travelers on board and involved a bus ride. Drivers in Jamaica are reportedly infamous for driving erratically, especially on narrow winding roads. This often shocks travelers who stop on the island for shore excursions, sources say.
The passengers who went on this trip allege that the driver was speeding and “changing lanes frequently,” even after many of them asked him to slow down. The tour operator reportedly assured them by telling them that “the bus driver was driving the way he normally drove,” and that that was the way everyone drove on the island.
The driver then allegedly drove into oncoming traffic in order to pass other vehicles. When he tried to pull the maneuver near a corner with limited visibility, an oncoming truck broadsided the tour bus, forcing the driver to swerve.
The crash killed one passenger and reportedly caused the plaintiffs “severe and permanent injuries.” 21 people were on board and 18 of them suffered injuries. Three of the passengers were taken to Falmouth Public General Hospital for treatment.
The suit states that the plaintiffs were led to believe that the trip was operated by Royal Caribbean, but it was actually organized and operated by a local tour operator called Excursion Entities. Royal Carribean reportedly declined to comment on the case, but the company did release a statement after the incident announcing the death and adding that the ship’s crew members were assisting the other passengers at the hospital.