People whose idea of a fun vacation involves dangerous encounters with wild animals generally do not choose to go on cruises. Cruise ships provide some of the tamest forms of entertainment around, from playing mini-golf on the ship’s deck to shuffling from the pool deck to the buffet in your flip flops to dressing up in your evening finery for dinner in the ship’s dining room. Adventure tourism is an entirely different sector of the tourism industry. Why, then, is a family suing a cruise ship company in relation to an anteater attack? Is it a case of medical malpractice or of premises liability? To get all the details about the legal issues surrounding this bizarre incident, contact a Florida premises liability lawyer.
Details of the Disney Wonder Case
The incident took place during a Disney Wonder cruise that set sail from Florida. One of the ship’s stops was in Cartagena, Colombia, where the plaintiffs visited the National Aviary of Colombia. At the aviary, an anteater attacked the family’s young son, and they went back to the ship to seek treatment for their son’s injuries at the ship’s infirmary. The boy subsequently developed bacterial and fungal infections and required much more treatment after the cruise ship returned to Florida.
The anteater allegedly was not kept in an enclosure that would prevent it from getting close to human guests, but the family’s lawsuits are related to the medical treatment the child received on board the ship. They allege that the ship’s medical staff did not properly diagnose and treat the boy’s injuries, causing him to develop a severe infection as a complication of his injuries. They named Magical Cruise Company, which operates Disney cruises, as a defendant, accusing it of negligence for taking guests to an attraction where wild animals had the opportunity to attack. They also sued Vanter Cruise Health Services, the staffing company that employed the infirmary personnel, alleging medical malpractice. They are seeking $15,000 in damages.
How Dangerous Are Anteaters, Anyway?
All four extant species of anteaters include Colombia as part of their range, but the one that attacked the plaintiff’s son was most likely a giant anteater, as the other three species are much smaller and mostly live in trees. The giant anteater can grow to nearly six feet long and lives on the ground. They only eat ants and other insects, but attacks on humans have been reported. Anteaters are not aggressive and will usually run away if humans approach them, but they sometimes attack with their front claws if they are cornered. They can cause serious injury; in 2007, a giant anteater at a zoo in Argentina killed a zookeeper that entered its enclosure.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
Places of business have a responsibility to protect customers from preventable accidents; a freak accident is not too freakish for a lawsuit if it is preventable. If you have been injured in an accident during a cruise, contact Palm Beach County premises liability attorneys at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers for a consultation to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.