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Royal Caribbean Closes Skypad Attraction Following Injury


March 31st, 2023 was the last day that the Skypad Attraction was in operation aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. The iconic attraction was mothballed after a personal injury lawsuit and closure due to weather. The attraction allowed guests to bounce around on an extremely buoyant trampoline inside of an orange sphere tethered to bungee cords. Further, there is a virtual reality element to the attraction. While the players are bouncing around, they are wearing a VR headset that allows them to play games like shooting aliens and the like.

Royal Caribbean has stated that it will convert the Skypad into a venue for other events.

Often, cruise lines operate attractions that are similar to amusement parks. In most cases, amusement parks take on strict liability for their rides and attractions. That means that a plaintiff need not establish that the amusement park was necessarily negligent for the injury. The need only establish that an injury occurred without the plaintiff contributing to the cause. If someone is injured on a rollercoaster while enjoying the ride like everyone else, they can sue. If someone jumps out of the rollercoaster while it is in motion, it would be very difficult to pursue that claim.

The lawsuits

Two lawsuits related to passenger injury were filed in 2019. One of these injuries occurred during a commercial shoot for the Skypad attraction. The actress who was hired to film the commercial complained of severe pain after the shoot. When she went to see the ship’s onboard doctor, they diagnosed her with several broken ribs. She filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean.

Another passenger filed a lawsuit after the bungee cord on the attraction broke and he tumbled 20 feet to the deck. He suffered a broken pelvis and a dislocated shoulder requiring over a week in the hospital.

After the second injury, the Skypad attraction was taken offline for safety testing. Since then, no other lawsuits have been reported, but the attraction was often closed due to high winds drawing complaints from guests.

Analyzing cruise ship attraction lawsuits 

Lawsuits of this nature fall under a legal theory of product liability. Essentially, attractions are considered products for the purpose of tort lawsuits. So lawsuits can be filed against the venue that furnished its patrons with the attraction and the company that developed the attraction. In these cases, Royal Caribbean found it very difficult to defend the lawsuits and likely settled the suits under seal to avoid admitting liability and to quash further headlines from emerging. However, they did take several measures to prevent future injury.

Talk to a Miami, FL Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Today 

Michael F. Guilford represents the interests of Miami plaintiffs who have been injured aboard a cruise ship. Lawsuits can be filed under several theories of liability including premises liability, negligent security, medical malpractice, and lawsuits involving excursions or attractions. Call our Miami admiralty & maritime lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss your case immediately.



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