Cruises are a popular vacation option for those who want to relax, not worry too much about organizing the details. However, what many people don’t understand is that when they are on a cruise, they are in muddy legal territory in which they may have limited protections to pursue compensation if they suffer personal injury or loss of life.
Most cruise lines are shielded from certain claims of liability based on the waiver printed on the back of each passenger’s ticket. Boarding of the ship with that ticket is viewed as acceptance of the terms.
While cruise ship injury lawsuits can prove more challenging, these companies aren’t immune. There are a number of instances in which cruise lines can be held liable. A number of injury and wrongful death lawsuits recently filed in Florida are illustrative of the fact that it can still be worth it to pursue litigation.
One of the personal injury lawsuits that has been filed recently against a cruise line that disembarked from a Florida port involves Disney Cruise Line. According to the filing, a girl and her parents are suing the company in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division for an alleged failure to exercise reasonable care.
The complaint alleges that in November of last year, the girl was crossing a marble floor on the ship while using her motorized wheelchair. Suddenly, the child reportedly “went flying” over a step-down because there was a deceptive decorative pattern on the floor. The lawsuit claims the girl suffered severe injuries, including head injuries, a fracture and a contusion on her right eye. Plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $75,000 plus interest and court costs. They allege the company should have informed guests with special needs that there were areas on the ship that weren’t safely accessible to them. Further, plaintiffs allege the cruise line breached its duty of care by converting all common areas to be accessible by those with special needs and also in failing to inspect and maintain the site in a condition that was reasonably safe for all passengers.
In another case, also November of last year, a 31-year-old man fell into the water some 17 miles from shore of Turks and Caicos. The man had reportedly just been in an argument with his husband and jumped from the room. However, he landed on a life boat. According to the complaint, responding crew members re-positioned him in a way that caused him to lose his grip – and they lost their grip on them. He fell some 55 feet into the water. At that time, according to the complaint, crew members reportedly did not toss in a life preserver or life boat, nor did the captain stop the ship immediately or dispatch a search-and-rescue team.
The complaint asserts that regardless of whether decedent jumped from the ship, the cruise line had a responsibility to act according to stringent policies and procedures to try to save him once he was in the water – and they allegedly did not.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Passengers blame Disney Cruise Line for injuries, Nov. 11, 2016, By Jenie Mallari-Torres
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Bagley v. Bagley – Woman Seeks Damages From Herself After Husband Dies in Car Accident, Nov. 5, 2016, West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Blog