Scuba Diving/Cruise Ships
This posting is not a gripe but should be of interest. Deep water scuba diving is a popular off the ship tour offered by a number of cruise lines. Diana Levalley, who was an asthmatic, was a passenger aboard a Carnival cruise ship and while on Grand Cayman, she signed up for deep water scuba diving. Levalley was not an experienced diver. While undergoing a scuba diving class conducted by an named Soper she was severely injured. Levalley sued Soper for negligence in failing to adequately instruct and supervise her. She sued Carnival for Soper's negligence. The trial court resulted in an awarded $1,000,000 $340,000 from Soper, $333,000 from Carnival. The amount due to Levalley was reduced by $333,000 due to her contributing or comparative . This decision was appealed where the court ruled that Soper should be liable for $561,000; Carnival Cruise line to pay nothing. The court agreed with Carnival since Soper and her employer were third part tortfeasors for whom it should not be liable. The lesson here is do not dive if you are not in good health or physical condition. The case is Carnival v Levalley, 786 Southern Reporter, 2nd, 18
Miss Kuntz, aged 21 was on vacation in the Bahamas aboard a Windjammer" Barefoot" Cruise ship. She an inexperienced who drowned after receiving some brief, cursory diving instructions. This case was handled under the Death On the High Seas Act, which caps the liability limits of any ward and does not provide for punitive damages. In this case the Kuntz was held to be 50% liable since she contributed to her own death having consumed alcoholic beverages and taking drugs the night before the dive. The dive instructor and other defendants were held to be negligent, contributing to her death. Case is Kuntz v. Windjammer, 573 Federal Suppl. 1277
The was a brief article in Los Angeles Times after Hurricane Julienne passed over Cabo San Lucas, It seems a day or two after the storm, a boat occupied by 16 scuba divers capsized due to heavy waves. All the scuba divers survived, some with minor injuries. The article did not mention whether there were any passengers from a cruise ship involved but the boat was owned by and the "Captain"" was an American.
There is a very information article on the subject in the August 2001 issue of "Trial" magazine, put out by the Trial Lawyers, entitled "Diving Into Scuba Litigation" by Robert J. Kenner.
Since I am not a lawyer I do not intend to give legal ; my objective was to inform and educate the reader.