Last week my wife Michelle and I went on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Just a quick getaway down to Cozumel Mexico and back.
4 days only.
A lot of sun and pretty relaxing.
What peeked my interest on the cruise ship was a new station there at the pool.
It was a lifeguard station.
The lifeguard station was new from the last time we were on a cruise about 4 months ago.
What changed to cause Royal Caribbean to post a full-time lifeguard at each pool on the ship?
You guessed it.
The threat of a lawsuit.
What apparently happened in the meantime from my last cruise until last week was the tragic death of a young passenger.
You probably heard on the news of the young baby who drowned on the cruise ship.
The child died because there were no lifeguards at the pool when it happened.
Believe it or not, the cruise line was relying entirely upon a sign that stated no lifeguards present and swim at your own risk.
Legally what happened was the family of the deceased child got an attorney to file a lawsuit against the cruise line.
That’s what got the cruise line to put up the new lifeguard station.
Not talking, not PR, not goodwill and not commonsense.
The only thing that got them to put a lifeguard on duty full-time at each and every pool on the ship was an attack on their bottom line.
The cruise line industry is not stupid.
They realized quickly they could be exposed to millions of dollars in jury verdicts if families of drowned children on cruise ships were to hire themselves personal injury lawyers.
So even though it sounds self-serving from my perspective, we as a society must give some grudging respect to personal injury lawyers.
Because they are the ones who are willing to put the cruise line industry in general to the test when safety isn’t the industries number one priority.
Nothing will get a big industry to change their lackadaisical ways about safety like the threat of a lawsuit.
And losing money. Lots and lots of money.
Well that’s my take on it.
What is yours?
Can you think of any other explanation why the cruise line changed its policy of swim at your own risk to requiring lifeguards at every pool 24-7?
Pittsburgh cruiseship accident injury attorney Bernie Tully sure cannot.
Thanks for reading.
Bernie the attorney.