The lawsuits are mounting for Royal Caribbean following its ill-fated February cruise that was rocked by hurricane-force winds off the Carolinas.
On Monday, 40 families of children with autism sued the luxury cruise company saying officials were negligent in their actions to sail the Anthem of the Seas into the storm despite forecasts that predicted turbulent weather.
According to the suit, which seeks class-action status and was filed in federal court in Miami, the families and their aides were “hurled against cabin walls, floors and furniture, sustaining bodily and psychic injuries.”
“There were 40 families with Autism Spectrum Disorder children aboard the vessel and parents and aides did their best to protect themselves and their children who were being severely battered and traumatized,” the suit claims.
This is the third lawsuit filed against Royal Caribbean in Miami federal court in relation to the Feb. 6 Anthem of the Seas cruise.
According to the three suits, the captain of the Anthem of the Seas told passengers there was a weather system building along the east coast and that he intended to “outrun the growing storm.”
Royal Caribbean said in a statement the suit does not have merit.
“Our crew took great care in attending to the needs of all our guests both during and after the incident,” a statement sent to The Post said. “The safety of our guests and crew is our first priority. Our captain has been commended for the skillful way in which he managed the ship in an unexpectedly severe storm, keeping the ship safe and minimizing injuries.”
The company has previously said planning “gaps” allowed the ship to sail into the storm.
Earlier this month, the Anthem of the Seas cut a trip short because of concerns over a similar storm that was threatening gale force winds off the Carolinas.
Last month, the Anthem of the Seas cut another cruise short fearing similar bad weather.
The suit filed by the autistic families, Donna Incardone and Constance Savage vs. Royal Caribbean Cruises, claims negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Royal Caribbean’s conduct in both placing the subject vessel in a violent storm and subjecting fragile passengers and their caregivers to a reasonable fear of death and/or injury to their children or charges, despite Royal Caribbean’s prior knowledge of the impending storm, was outrageous,” the suit claims. “Royal Caribbean chose profit over the safety and welfare of its passengers.”