Royal Caribbean Cruises has been rebuked by a Florida judge, who has ruled that the cruise vessel showed grave indifference to the safety of its crewmembers and passengers. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed after a toxic gas exposure incident on a Royal Caribbean Cruises vessel. Three crew members died, and at least 19 passengers were injured in that incident.
The poison gas exposure incident occurred on the Monarch of the Seas in September 2005. The three crewmembers were repairing a pipe when there was a sudden release of high levels of hydrogen sulfide, killing them instantly. At least 19 people on the cruise line were injured. The lawsuit had been filed by a crew member on board at the time.
According to the judge, there was enough evidence to indicate that Royal Caribbean Cruises’ conduct in this incident was intentional or an indication of gross negligence.
The judge ruled that Royal Caribbean Cruises was aware of a similar toxic gas exposure incident on the Monarch of the Seas in March that same year. However, the company failed to take reasonable measures to prevent a repeat of that incident. The company’s actions showed gross indifference to the life and health of all on board when it continued to operate even after the fatal gas leak.