Tourism & Cruises

Man who survived 20-foot fall from Royal Caribbean trampoline sues cruise line for $10M

Casey Holladay, 25, bounced 10 times on Royal Caribbean’s Sky Pad trampoline aboard its Mariner of the Seas ship, somersaulting in midair as he reached about 20 feet.

But on his 11th bounce, something went wrong. As he reached peak altitude, the stretchy yellow bands attached to his harness snapped off, and he came crashing down against the ship’s deck next to the trampoline.

At the time of the incident in February, the 4,000-passenger ship was on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean spent around $100 million to renovate the 2003 ship last year to attract millennials like Holladay to cruising; those renovations included adding the Sky Pad.

As Holladay lay on the deck, his girlfriend tried to continue filming the incident, according to a video first published by NBC6, but a Royal Caribbean employee tried to block her. The ship had not reached the Bahamas yet, and turned around early to get back to Miami. Holladay was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital where doctors operated to fix his fractured his pelvis.

Holladay sued Royal Caribbean in Miami federal court last week. He is asking a jury for $10 million.

“Casey was a very healthy young man just getting started,” said his lawyer, Brett Rivkind. “One second he was out on a cruise ship with his girlfriend, the next thing he knows he’s in the trauma center having surgery. Right now he can’t bear any weight, he’s in and out of doctors’ visits regularly to see how he’ll heal. He’s severely limited in his everyday activities. He has pain still.”

Royal Caribbean corporate communications manager Owen Torres said the company does not comment on pending litigation. “We operate all our ships safely, professionally and responsibly,” he said.

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Taylor Dolven covers the tourism industry at the Miami Herald, where she aims to tell stories about the people who work in tourism and the people who enjoy it. Previously, she worked at Vice News in Brooklyn, NY, where she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of NY for a national investigation of police shootings.