This case concerns a passenger who participated in a seven-day cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. The passenger booked a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean to Dunn’s River Falls while the ship called on Jamaica. The local guide was employed by the excursion company told the passengers to hold hands while ascending the falls. Unfortunately, the passenger slipped and fell when a girl whose hand he was holding slipped. The fall resulted in the passenger fracturing his leg and sustaining other injuries.
The passenger filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida alleging that he was instructed by the tour guides at Dunn’s River Falls to hold hands with the other hikers and that he fell because the girl whose hand he was holding slipped. He claimed that Royal Caribbean was liable for the accident because the cruise line either knew about or should have reasonably foreseen the danger associated with having passengers hold hands as they climbed Dunn’s River Falls and should have warned him about this danger.
In response to the passenger’s claim, Royal Caribbean filed a motion requesting that the Court dismiss the lawsuit arguing that: (1) the dangers associated with Dunn’s River Falls are open and obvious; (2) there is no evidence that the practice of handholding caused fall; and (3) even if handholding caused the fall, there is no evidence that the cruise line knew or should have known that handholding was a dangerous practice. The passenger countered Royal Caribbean’s motion by pointing to evidence that the cause of his fall was a result of the handholding policy and submitted affidavits showing the cruise line’s employees knew the handholding policy posed a danger to its passengers.