Woman faces large legal bill over failed ‘thrill ride’ damages claim
Posted on 20th June 2019 at 21:47
A woman who lost a High Court damages action over a fractured elbow suffered during a ‘White Knuckle Jet Boat Thrill Ride’ in the Caribbean is facing a large legal costs bill.
Siobhán Kellett is liable for the legal costs of the failed two day action, Mr Justice Anthony Barr ruled on Thursday. He granted a stay on the costs order for 28 days to allow for any notice of appeal to be lodged.
Ms Kellett, a dance teacher, was on a seven night €3,674 Caribbean cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday and silver wedding anniversary when the accident happened during a shore excursion.
She said she was thrown out of her seat and banged her elbow against the metal side of the jet boat during two 360-degree manoeuvres of the White Knuckle Boat Ride, a pre-booked excursion taken by the couple when their cruise ship docked at St Maarten in the West Indies.
Ms Kellett (53) Rockfield Green , Maynooth, Co Kildare, had sued British company RCL Cruises Ltd of Weybridge, Surrey, who operated the cruise ship Freedom of the Seas. She claimed the firm was responsible for the excursion in St Maarten. She also sued Panther Associates Ltd trading as Tour America, of Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, where she booked the April 2016 holiday.
She claimed failure to provide any or any adequate safety restraints, harness or belts on the jet boat to ensure passengers were kept safe from injury. The claims were denied.
Earlier this month, Mr Justice Barr dismissed Ms Kellett’s action against the cruise operator and the travel company. He said he could not find that Ms Kellett’s injury happened as a result of any negligence on the part of the excursion operators in relation to the condition of the boat.
Finding there was no negligence for failure to provide restraints like a harness, Mr Justice Barr said given the risk of capsize, one could not have such restraints in use on a boat as that could lead to fatalities if the boat were to capsize.
The judge found no negligence in the absence of sidebars and padding along the side of the boat. He also ruled he could not hold the injuries suffered were attributable to any negligence on the part of Ms Kellett.
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