Disabled Man Removed from Cruise Ship
Man sues Celebrity Cruises Inc. for reimbursement
By: Glenda Lewis
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - "I am a nudist at heart; it's just always something I wanted to do."
10 days sailing through the Caribbean in the buff, it was on Jim Keskeny's bucket list, but he says a small accident in the bathroom caused him to be kicked to the curb.
"The toilet was too low; they told me I had to go. I think they used it as an excuse to put me out," said Jim while sitting in his lawyer Richard Bernstein's office.
In a letter sent to Bernstein's office, Celebrity Cruises Inc. states that the fall made them feel that Jim is an invalid needing 24-hour care. He was escorted off the boat in Guadalupe, Mexico and went through Haiti, then Miami, then back to Detroit.
"The letter they sent us was threatening, it was absolutely insulting how harsh they were," said Bernstein.
The 66-year old was a U.S. Representative to the Persons with Disabilities committee for 8 years, traveled to 46 states, four continents and has cruised before. Jim said he chose the state room for its claims of "accessibility" to those who are disabled.
Jim has Multiple Sclerosis and has been in a wheel chair since 1980. He just wants his money back but his attorney, who happens to be blind, sees it as an opportunity to make sure the cruise line is safer for others.
"It is about the fact that they are not up to ADA standards. There is no grey area. If they were compliant this would have never arisen," said Bernstein.
"I just want my $4,000 back for the trip and the $1500 I had to spend for a plane ticket home," said Jim.