Royal Caribbean has been hit with another tragedy after a teenage boy died after falling from an eighth-floor balcony while the cruise ship was docked in Haiti last week.

It was reported that the 16-year-old boy was trying to climb into his room on the Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas ship through a nearby balcony when he suddenly slipped, falling to his death. The victim has been identified as Laurent Mercer from the Wallis and Futuna Islands located in the South Pacific. He was on a seven-day Caribbean cruise with his family.

The ship departed from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was docked in Labadee, Haiti when the incident occurred.

After the passenger fell, the ship’s medical team tried to resuscitate Mercer through CPR, but because of the extensive head trauma he suffered, he was not able to survive his injuries and was pronounced dead at 11:42 a.m.

This tragedy follows another on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas after a crew member died after falling overboard into the Atlantic Ocean on Christmas Day. Carnival Cruise Line has also been in the news with the separate deaths of two passengers who fell overboard.

It is important to note that these types of injuries, while they seem common with how often they have been reported in the news recently, are not the norm.

In any given year, approximately 19 people on average fall overboard while on a cruise ship, based on data released in April by cruise industry consulting firm G.P. Wild. Relatively speaking, these numbers are low considering more than 20 million people go on cruises every year. The chances of it happening to you are slim, but it certainly doesn’t take away the fear.

If an injury occurs while onboard a cruise, it is important that a lawyer who specializes in maritime law be consulted before making any determinations on how to proceed.


If you have been injured on your cruise, on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines. Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991. We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety. We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits. You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering. Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.

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