News » Victim of Gang Rape on Cruise Ship Can Sue, Says 11th Circuit

Victim of Gang Rape on Cruise Ship Can Sue, Says 11th Circuit

August 2, 2019

Malaga, Spain - April 29, 2015: Allure of the Seas at the malaga harbor as first stop in europe in Malaga, Spain on April 29, 2015. The largest cruise ship in the world

A lawsuit over a woman’s claim that cruise ship employees should have intervened to prevent her from being gang raped during a 2015 cruise can proceed. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed the suit for failing to state a claim. The woman, known as K.T. was a teen, possibly as young as 15, and on a cruise with her grandparents when the assault occurred. According to her complaint, Royal Caribbean “anticipated and foresaw that crimes would be perpetrated aboard its vessels” and also “had experienced and had actual knowledge of minors wrongfully being provided with or allowed to gain access to alcohol” and then becoming victims of assaults, batteries and sexual crimes by passengers and crew members.” The complaint also states that Royal Caribbean knew or should have known that the risks were enhanced by its “sale of copious amounts of alcohol.” Royal Caribbean argued that a negligence finding would essentially “make cruise lines insurers of their passengers.” But the ruling states, “we are not talking about strict liability. We are talking about negligence in failing to act to prevent a foreseeable or known danger. If K.T. can prove the allegations in her complaint, Royal Caribbean is liable for its negligence and that of its crew.” Cruise lines have known for years about the prevalence of sexual assaults aboard their vessels, the ruling points out.

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