Last week, a Royal Caribbean guest fell while trying to descend a stairwell in the Catacombs lounge on the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship.
We wrote about the incident in our article: Royal Caribbean Passenger Falls & Dies on Liberty of the Seas Cruise Ship.
A number of former passengers aboard this cruise ship left comments to our article:
. . . those stairs are so dangerous, why would they have stairs like this at a bar?????? while drinking is going on etc! No traction, no carpet, Nothing . . .
. . . they looked dangerous and slippery. Pretty? Yes - but dangerous . . .
. . . they are incredibly dangerous!!! . . .
. . . those stairs, are EXTREMELY Dangerous. Even from the picture you can see that they have little to no tread and no skid protection. Mix that with heels, lack of bright lighting, drinking, and possible spillage..and you have a recipe for disaster . . .
Well, disaster did strike, and cruise passenger Barbara Wood died as a result. Was this a freak accident? No. Royal Caribbean knew before this latest accident that these stairs pose a danger to their guests. It has been sued before.
One of the Miami maritime lawyers who I regularly consult with, Glenn Holzberg, filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean for a fall on these steps. The lawsuit which Glenn filed alleges that back in September 2007, a cruise passenger:
. . . was on board the Liberty of the Seas, when she slipped and fell down the stairway within the Catacombs Lounge leading to the deck below, causing her to repeatedly strike her forehead and face and resulting in serious and permanent damage including a concussion, and closed head injuries. The direct and proximate cause of the fall was the condition and design of the stairway and individual stairs, making it difficult to distinguish one step from another, and the darkness in the Catacombs lounge leading to and surrounding the stairway . . .
Did Royal Caribbean make any changes to the stairwell after this earlier serious accident over the past 4 years? Did it improve the lighting conditions around the stairwell? Did it place any warning signs around the area?
How many other passengers have been injured at this location?
How many more injuries and deaths will it take before Royal Caribbean replaces these pretty but dangerous steps?
If you sailed on the Liberty and experienced difficulties with these steps, please consider leaving a comment below.
Photo credit: Sean Lloyd (Flickr)