When people go on vacation, they like to have experiences they cannot have back home. Sadly, these tourist activities can sometimes go terribly wrong due to the negligence of the companies in charge. A lava tour boat company was recently sued by multiple boat passengers after a large, fiery rock came through the roof of a boat near Pohoiki, Hawaii. Multiple passengers were injured, including a 20-year-old woman from Illinois who was struck by volcanic projectile, fractured her pelvis, thigh bone and tibia, and had to undergo multiple surgeries at a Honolulu hospital.
The woman and her family, and several other boat passengers, reportedly have filed lawsuits against the owners of the sightseeing boat, Lava Tours, Inc. According to the lawsuits, Lava Ocean Tours and the captain of the boat were negligent in failing to properly warn boat tourists of the possible risks of the tour and steering the boat too close to the lava ocean entry. The lawsuits claim the captain of the boat had permission to pilot his boats inside a pre-determined safety zone created by the U.S. Coast Guard, and was leaving the zone at the time of the lava bomb. The captain apparently was warned by the Coast Guard that the tour company would assume all risks and liabilities if they chose to enter the safety zone.
Lava Ocean Tours filed its own complaint to limit liability to $300,000 or free the company from liability altogether. The tour company claims that the volcanic event was unforeseeable and denied that their negligent actions contributed to the passengers’ injuries.
Tourists who are injured while on vacation can file a personal injury lawsuit against negligent sightseeing companies. If successful, tourists can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages caused by the accident.