Cruise ship vacations and travel are a top tourist draw in Florida, with ships commonly leaving from ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral. While many come home from these excursions with memories they’ll always cherish, others are left with a nightmare they’d forget if they could.
Sexual assault on cruise ships is a major problem, as reported last year by NBC News, which noted victims are disproportionately under 18. In one instance reported by the outlet, the 16-year-old girl of a single mother was allegedly sexually assaulted by a trainer in the gym on board the cruise ship. The case was reported, and the ship did collect evidence and contact the FBI. However, no criminal charges were ever filed – something NBC reported was common in these cases. Of the 92 alleged on-board crimes that were reported by cruise lines in 2016, 62 of those were for sexual assaults and rapes – a Congressional report finding one-third of the victims were minors.
As our Fort Lauderdale cruise ship injury attorneys can explain, cruise lines can be held liable for sexual assaults and other criminal attaches that occur on ships and during excursions – particularly if they involve employees of the ship. In the event an employee was involved, cruise lines may be deemed strictly liable, meaning it’s not necessary to prove negligence. However, in cases where other passengers were involved, plaintiffs will need to prove negligence, which is failure to exercise a duty of reasonable care. Continue reading →