A family mourned the tragic and untimely death of a 6-year-old boy who drowned in the swimming pool on a Carnival cruise ship in 2013. When the heat kicks up and the Florida sunshine is ablaze, children and adults alike are drawn to swimming pools for some relief and recreation. Cruise ships are not required to have lifeguards on duty, so does that mean a swimming pool death is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?
Who Bears the Responsibility?
There is debate whether parents are supposed to be responsible while their children are swimming in a pool without a lifeguard or whether the company that owns the swimming pool should be held accountable. Does the cruise ship have a duty to watch over the people on the ship and ensure their safety? Can the lack of a lifeguard be negligence on the part of the cruise ship company? Carnival claims the responsibility is up to the parents, as their business policy is not to have lifeguards manning the onboard swimming pools.
Proving Wrongful Death in Florida
While the ambiguous business policy of Carnival could be questioned, the biggest issue here would be whether or not Carnival owed a duty to ensure safety to its passengers. It is quite feasible, considering Florida’s guidelines for wrongful death lawsuits require proving a duty to the injured, proving a breach of duty, or negligence, that harmed the injured party, and proving the drowning was directly related to the negligence to bring a wrongful death case to court.
If a court were to find Carnival responsible to provide the “duty” of safety, namely lifeguards at their onboard pools, the breach of duty would be not providing a lifeguard and the causation would be the tragic drowning that may not have occurred if a lifeguard was supervising the pool. In criminal cases, proof has to be “beyond a reasonable doubt,” however, in a Florida wrongful death case, the jury only has to find that it was “more likely than not” that Carnival caused the death due to negligence.
If your child has suffering injuries or died due to a negligence of a company providing adequate and reasonable measures for safety, contact a Tampa Bay swimming pool injury attorney to discuss the circumstances. Most often, the injuries or death could have been easily prevented. While money will not bring a young child who died in an untimely manner back, you deserve to feel justice is served. Reach out to our firm today and let us assist you in your case.
Call us today in PINELLAS: 727-796-8282 and in HILLSBOROUGH: 813-288-8282.