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Orlando Couple Die in Dune Buggy Accident on Mexico Cruise

Visiting the beautiful ports where a ship is scheduled to stop on a cruise vacation is an important part of cruising. Exotic locations with friendly people greet you every other day and the beaches are not the only attraction. Vacationers engage in a myriad of onshore activities:

  • Surfing
  • Scuba diving or snorkeling
  • Parasailing
  • Boating
  • Jet skiing
  • Hiking
  • ZIP lining
  • Excursions on bicycles, on motorbikes, dune buggies or on 4X4 vehicles like Jeeps, etc.

Unfortunately, passengers often suffer accidents while engaged in these onshore excursions. According to, this is exactly what happened to a couple from Florida that died tragically in a dune buggy accident in Cozumel while taking a Mexico bound Royal Caribbean Cruise. Jim Melillo and Susan Borges went on a shore excursion to explore the island of Cozumel when their cruise ship, the “Liberty of the Seas”, docked.

Once onshore, they decided to rent a dune buggy and share it with another couple, Wagner Ferreira, the friend who would be driving the buggy at the time of the accident, and his wife, Liz Ferreira. The group was formed by more than two dozen of their friends and would explore the island as part of a more than six hour tour.

The driver, Wagner Ferreira, was initially held in jail by the police as part of their investigation, but has since been freed and returned to Florida. No charges were filed against him.

Poor Safety Equipment

Group members noticed the poor safety condition of the buggies, many without safety belts, but rented and rode them anyway. The excursion was booked by a private company and was not sponsored by the cruise line. This may free Royal Caribbean from liability for the accident.

Passengers often decide to forego booking similar excursions with the ship, just to fall prey to onshore operators subject to the very lax safety rules common to these touristic destinations. While the excursions booked with the ship are usually more expensive, they are also usually safer, just because the cruise line makes sure that the operators they use maintain higher safety standards. This is because the cruise line itself may end up facing liability for any accident that befalls a passenger that booked the excursion with the ship. And this is where we may be able to help an injured passenger or the family of one who lost his or her life.

The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help

Cruise lines often try to get an injured passenger to accept a refund as compensation for his or her injuries. You should not give into these companies’ pressure to accept a mere refund in exchange for your injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries or if a loved one died while on a cruise vacation or have been the victim(s) of serious crime(s) while taking a cruise, the cruise line may owe you financial compensation.

It is important for you to remember that these cases are governed by certain conditions set forth in the tickets. For example, according to most tickets, claimants have only six months to give written notice of the claim to the cruise line and one year from the date of the incident to file suit.

Consequently, you should contact a lawyer with experience handling these matters immediately. Only prompt legal action will force the cruise company to compensate you for your past and future medical costs (including rehabilitation therapy), your pain and suffering and your lost wages. Please note that a Florida lawyer will handle your entire case, including the initial consultation, on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay your attorney anything, unless he o she wins your case.

Throughout the years the Cruise Lines Injury Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have handled many such cases against these cruise lines and can help you obtain the compensation you may deserve. If you or a close relative suffered an injury while on a cruise, we urge you to contact a law firm with experience handling cruise ship injury cases. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today.

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