The Florida maritime lawyers of Brais Brais & Rusak have been retained to represent a female minor passenger who was allegedly sexually assaulted and raped on board the Carnival Breeze on October 3, 2015. The incident occurred when the child left the cruise ship’s Club O2 teen lounge and upon heading to a nearby elevator was surrounded by five adult men who forced her into the elevator, down a ship’s hallway and into a cabin of one of the men. The men were able to target the child as their victim because Carnival failed to keep the unrelated men out of the Club O2 lounge earlier in the cruise. On at least one occasion the men were told to leave of the Club O2 lounge, but by then it was too late and they simply waited outside the Club O2 lounge until their unsuspecting victim left the teen club.
The Club O2 lounge is advertised as a dedicated lounge aboard Carnival ships for children ages 15 to 17 to “hang out and do stuff like watch movies, listed to music from this decade, play sports and video games, join karaoke jam sessions . . . maybe even have a pool party or two, all with other high schoolers ages of 15 to 17.” Carnival states on its website, that Club O2 is designed specifically for 15-17-year-olds, which means no kids and no adults. It is further described as a safe and comfortable environment for teen cruise passengers. Carnival notes that “as legal adults, 18-year-olds are not permitted to participate in or use the Club O2 facilities or any other Youth Program facilities.”
Based on the above description, parents, like our clients, reasonably believe that Carnival has in place measures to keep out persons not supposed to be in the Club O2 lounge. At the very least, parents believe that Carnival has a person at the door of the lounge confirming the ages of the guests attempting to enter the lounge and that they are there for legitimate purposes.