World Royal Caribbean liability for volcano deaths may turn on 'act of God' defense

04:05  13 december  2019
04:05  13 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

New Zealand volcano erupts: Tourists injured and others 'unaccounted for'

  New Zealand volcano erupts: Tourists injured and others 'unaccounted for' New Zealand's prime minister has said a number of tourists have been injured and others are "unaccounted for" after a volcano on a small island started to erupt. The eruption began at about 2.30pm local time on White Island, which is uninhabited but frequented by tourists.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said about 100 tourists were on or near the island when it erupted.Some of those, at this stage, are unaccounted for, she said."A number of people are reportedly injured and are being transported to shore," she added.© Other The volcano on White Island erupts.

In legal usage throughout the English-speaking world, an act of God is a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible. An act of God may amount to an exception to liability in contracts (as under the Hague–Visby Rules)

Yahoo Finance Video. Royal Caribbean liability for volcano deaths may turn on ' act of God ' defense .

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: FILE PHOTO: Relatives wait for rescue mission, following the White Island volcano eruption in Whakatane© Reuters/JORGE SILVA FILE PHOTO: Relatives wait for rescue mission, following the White Island volcano eruption in Whakatane

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd's potential liability for a deadly excursion to a volcanic island in New Zealand could hinge on whether the eruption was an unforeseeable "act of God," according to maritime lawyers.

Cruise ship passengers were among the tourists on White Island on Monday when it erupted. While no lawsuits have yet been filed, legal experts said they expected action in U.S courts by injured passengers and families of those who died.

There were 47 people on the island at the time. Eight have been officially declared dead and more than 20 are being treated for severe burns. The New Zealand military was carrying out an operation to recover eight other bodies still on the island.

Fears for tourists after NZ volcano erupts

  Fears for tourists after NZ volcano erupts Up to 20 people are injured and a number of tourists are “unaccounted for” after NZ’s most active volcano Whakaari erupted on Monday. NZ police believe fewer than 50 were on the island when the volcano erupted, with at least one person critically injured. Your browser does not support this video require(["binding"], function (binding) { binding("wcVideoPlayer", "#video_player_daf29da1-9308-4206-a6df-68621f766505").all(); }); Whakaari, which is situated off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is a popular tourist site.

Royal Caribbean passengers hurt in New Zealand volcano eruption: Is the cruise line liable ? Volcanic tremor also increased, and the agency wrote at the time that the island " may be entering a At this time, it is unclear whether Royal Caribbean had partnered with a local company, whether

Acts of God may also affect tort laws in America. Tort laws are most often associated with personal injuries. Of course, there are circumstances where one cannot avoid tort liability for acts of God simply because they should have planned for the natural disaster as a foreseeable possibility.

Royal Caribbean ticket terms posted on its website spell out that the company is not liable for any injury, death or loss of property caused by an act of God, as well as war, terrorism or other events beyond the company's control.

Royal Caribbean will likely argue the disaster was an extraordinary event no one could reasonably foresee, said Robert Kritzman, an attorney with Baker Donelson in Miami.

"If a volcano were to erupt, clearly that isn't negligence on anyone's part, that's nature," said Kritzman, a former general counsel with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean did not respond to questions about missing passengers or whether it told passengers of the risks of visiting the island.

"We grieve this tragic loss. We will to continue to offer our support and services to the families during this difficult time," the company said in an email.

5 dead, many more missing in eruption of New Zealand volcano

  5 dead, many more missing in eruption of New Zealand volcano WHAKATANE, New Zealand (AP) — A volcano on a New Zealand island erupted Monday with a towering blast of ash and scalding steam as tourists were exploring the moon-like surface, killing five people and leaving perhaps two dozen others missing. Police said the site was still too dangerous hours later for rescuers to search for the missing. “My god,” Michael Schade tweeted as he posted video of the eruption. “My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable.

With the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Program Cancellation Penalty Waiver, if your plans go awry and you In addition, should you need to cancel for "any other reason" you may be eligible for credit toward a Because our liability for loss or damage is limited by the Cruise Ticket Contract, we

Force majeure is a defense against liability and is applicable throughout French law. However, even in the event of force majeure, liability persists in the face of default by a debtor.[13]. In Argentina, Act of God can be used in Civil Responsibility regarding contractual or not contractual obligations.

Part of the case will turn on what the cruise line knew or should have known and what they told passengers about indications of increased volcanic activity.

"There are tremors, there are earthquakes and people monitor that," said Carlos Llinás Negret, an attorney with Nelson & Fraenkel who represents passengers. "It all depends on what the cruise knew, and when they knew it."

Geological hazard tracker GeoNet raised the alert level for the White Island volcano in November and said on Dec. 3 that "the volcano may be entering a period where eruptive activity is more likely than normal."

The cruise line described White Island as "one of the most active volcanoes in the world," according to a cached version of its website. "Get close to the drama: Gas masks help you get near roaring steam vents, bubbling pits of mud, hot volcanic streams and the amazing lake of steaming acid," it promised.

Cruise passengers wake to 'sombre' morning after eruption deaths

  Cruise passengers wake to 'sombre' morning after eruption deaths One Ovation of the Seas passenger has described a feeling of helplessness onboard the cruise liner a day after at least five people died on New Zealand's White Island.In total, 31 other people were hospitalised after the eruption on the popular island off the country's North Island where Australian tourists had been sightseeing yesterday, and eight are still missing.

Latest death toll. GUATEMALA’S Fuego volcano and Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano are both currently erupting. Fuego erupted violently on Sunday, sending pyroclastic flows Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after molten hot lava, ash and gasses first spewed into the air on May 3.

Available on the Enchantment of the Seas® and all Voyager and Radiance-class ships, Concierge Club guests will receive this complimentary service that provides assistance with any special requests they may have while sailing. As a Concierge Club guest, you will be offered amenities and services not

Virginia parents of one woman who was severely burned told a TV station that her daughter said she believed Royal Caribbean would not have let her visit the island if it were not safe.

The experts said in a typical shore excursion accident the cruise line tries to put blame on the third party that is hired to run the tour. On its website, Royal Caribbean does not identify the company that ran the White Island excursion.

Passengers would have to show Royal Caribbean did not take proper care to vet the operator, lawyers said.

But lawsuits face the added challenge of overcoming the argument the eruption was unforeseeable.

Norwegian Cruise Line was able to fend off a class action lawsuit about a large "freak wave" hitting one of its ships in 2005 by arguing it was an unforeseeable event. Regulators had concluded there was no wrongdoing by Norwegian.

Royal Caribbean is using the act of God defense against a class action about a powerful storm in 2016 that hit the ship Anthem of the Seas off the eastern United States. Passengers said the company knew of the risks of the storm, but tried to outrun it.

The dramatic description of the White Island tour on Royal Caribbean's website will likely be a focus of any lawsuit, with lawyers seizing on it to show the company knew a disaster was possible, legal experts said. The company could argue passengers were fully informed of the dangers and received proper safety equipment.

"If they hand out gas masks that says automatically you know you have a risk," said Bob Parks, a Miami attorney who represents passengers.

Grandfather offered plea deal in girl's cruise ship death .
Puerto Rican defense attorney Jose Perez said Anello doesn't want to plead guilty and would rather clear his name at trial.An attorney for the grandfather of a toddler who fell to her death on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has told CBS News that prosecutors have offered his client a plea deal.

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