Woman who lost damages case over ‘thrill ride’ must pay appeal costs

Siobhán Kellett fractured elbow on boat ride while on Caribbean cruise in 2016

The court made an order for the costs of the appeal in favour of RCL and Panther Associates.

The court made an order for the costs of the appeal in favour of RCL and Panther Associates.

 

A woman who lost a High Court case and an appeal over an accident on a thrill ride during a holiday will have to pay the costs of the appeal, the Court of Appeal has decided.

Siobhán Kellett was previously ordered to pay the costs of the two-day High court hearing of her case, brought after she fractured her elbow during a “White Knuckle” boat ride during a shore excursion while on a Caribbean cruise.

Ms Kellett, Rockfield Green, Maynooth, Co Kildare, had sued British company RCL Cruises Ltd of Weybridge, Surrey, which operated the cruise ship Freedom of the Seas and which, it was claimed, was responsible for the excursion.

She also sued Panther Associates Ltd, trading as Tour America, of Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, where she booked the holiday.

Ms Kellett, a dance teacher, lost her action last year over the accident during the April 2016 cruise with her husband to celebrate her 50th birthday and silver wedding anniversary. The case ran for two days and she was ordered to pay its costs but a stay was put on the order pending appeal.

Deferred

Last May, the Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal and deferred its decision on costs of the appeal. In its recent judgment concerning those costs, the three-judge appeal court said there was no basis for an order splitting the share of costs between the parties.

The court made an order for the costs of the appeal in favour of RCL and Panther Associates.

In the High Court Ms Kellett 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 boat ride. It was part of an excursion the couple took when their cruise ship docked at St Maarten in the West Indies.

She alleged 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.

The High Court judge said he could not find 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 and he could not find any liability on the part of the defendants.

Ms Kellett was not able to keep herself seated as she had been instructed to do; as a result she injured herself and this, unfortunately, was simply an injury which occurred in the course of a vigorous activity, the judge said. The Court of Appeal agreed.