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Brazilian court upholds verdict against Royal Caribbean

11 Jul 2012

Brazilian Judge Juarez Fernandes Folhes of the 14th Civil Chamber of the Court of Rio, upheld a ruling against Royal Caribbean Brazil that compensated a cruise ship passenger, Solange Maria Cordeiro da Silva, for $ 10,000 in damages.

According to the decision, while onboard Royal Caribbean's ship, Solange had a strong allergic attack caused by painting repairs that were made by Royal Caribbean in the corridors near his cabin.  He contends the paint fumes ended up affecting his physical health negatively.

For the judge, the conduct of the company to paint  the inner walls of the vessel while passengers are onboard, is incompatible with the nature of the services provided by the cruise company, "It is unreasonable that a ship entertainment, fully functioning, complete paint repairs during the voyage, leaving his crew at the mercy of odors and discomfort generated by the use of toxic dyes."

Royal Caribbean claimed that the fact that the paint used have caused allergic reaction was exclusive fault for what happened, because if the passenger had reported the possibility of allergic reactions by using products such as paint, the company would had changed its procedures.

However, the judge found that Royal Caribbean has a strict liability on the procedures to take and respond to the physical integrity of its passengers. He also highlighted the moral and material damage that the passenger could no longer enjoy the services he was entitled to under the cruise contract because his health was compromised.