Dance teacher in failed 'thrill ride' case must pay costs of appeal

Siobhan Kellett fractured her elbow during a "White Knuckle Board Ride" during a shore excursion while on a Caribbean cruise
Dance teacher in failed 'thrill ride' case must pay costs of appeal

Siobhan Kellett (pictured in May 2019) fractured her elbow during a "White Knuckle Board Ride" during a shore excursion while on a Caribbean cruise. Pic: Collins Courts

A woman who lost a High Court case and an appeal over an accident on a thrill ride during a holiday will now also have to pay the legal costs of the appeal.

Siobhan Kellett fractured her elbow during a "White Knuckle Board 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 St, Dublin, where she booked the holiday.

Ms Kellett, a dance teacher, lost her High Court action last year over the accident during an 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 the costs of the case.

A stay was put on the order pending appeal.

Last May, the Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal. The issue of costs of the appeal was deferred.

In a judgment on the question of costs, the three-judge appeal court said the Kellett side had not prevailed on an identifiable issue of law and there was no basis for an order splitting the share of costs between the parties.

The court said the appeal stands dismissed with an order for the costs of the appeal in favour of the 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 claimed there was an alleged failure to provide 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 that 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 there was any liability on the part of the defendants.

Ms Kellett was not able to keep herself seated as she had been instructed to do and as a result she injured herself. Unfortunately, it was simply an injury which occurred in the course of a vigorous activity, the judge said.

The Court of Appeal agreed.

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