In an important case, Carnival Cruise Line may be held responsible, at least in part, for the death of child who was killed in the Virgin Islands as a result of gang warfare crossfire after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a dismissed case and allowed the family’s claim to go forward.
Liz Marie Perez Chaparro, 14, was fatally shot while in St. Thomas during a July 2010 cruise vacation that was meant to be a celebration of her 15th birthday and her parents’ 23rd anniversary. According to the family, a Carnival employee told them to visit Coki Beach while in St. Thomas, which put them in the path of a funeral service for a gang member. Chaparro was riding an open-air bus back to the ship with her parents and brother when gang warfare erupted.
Chaparro took a stray bullet to the chest and died from her wounds. She was one of two killed in the incident. Her family filed a lawsuit against Carnival for negligence and emotional distress. They claim that the self proclaimed “Fun Ship” should have warned them of the potential for gang violence in the area before recommending them to visit this area.