Cruise Ship Accidents
Taking a cruise is a great way to relax, spend quality time with family and friends, and visit other countries. However, trips don’t always go according to plan. Inevitably, cruise ships are bound to have malfunctions that may lead to disaster situations, placing the passengers and crew members in danger. Cruise ships are vulnerable to collisions, fires, power outages, propulsion problems, and other mechanical failures, leading to unbearable repercussions such as food shortages, lack of air conditioning, unsanitary conditions and plumbing problems. We will handle cases against Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruises, and Princess Cruises. Many cruise lines mandate that lawsuits against them be filed here in South Florida and only in Federal Court.
Carnival Cruise line has recently made headlines due to technical problems aboard three of their ships. In particular, the Carnival Triumph experienced a fire, leading to food shortages aboard the ship. The passengers suffered with no air conditioning and overflowing toilets that resulted in excrements flowing through parts of the ship.
Aside from ship malfunctions, passengers may experience injury or illness due to negligence from crew members or violations on the cruise ship. Typical cruise ship accidents include slip and falls and trip and falls, pool-related accidents, illness from mishandling food, and sexual assault from other passengers or crew members.
The most common type of accidents on cruise ships is slip and falls on the deck. Often, crew members do not maintain the deck clean or dry, especially around the pool or other water related activity areas, resulting in hazardous conditions for its passengers. For example, some crew members mop areas of the boat quickly, leaving the floor wet, and at risk for individuals to experience severe injuries. We just recently settled a slip and fall case against a major cruise line.
Other times, parts of the ship are poorly maintained or have not been replaced in years, such as lounging chairs, tables, beds, chipped floor tiles, loose railings, and uneven decks. We just co-counseled one case recently where a gentleman sat down in the movie theater on the cruise ship and the chair broke and a successful result was obtained by all.
Also, unfortunately rapes and assaults by crewmembers are also common on cruise ships, and the most unfortunate part is that the assaults often go unreported. For incidents that are reported, it is complicated as to whether the U.S. will be able to investigate or intervene in the case. Depending on where the crime takes place, will determine what country is authorized to intervene. Frequently, passengers drink excessive amounts of alcohol, putting other passengers at risk for sexual abuse. In other cases, crew members take advantage of minors, and scare them into not telling their parent or guardian about their attack.
Illnesses brought upon by mishandled food on cruise ships are not uncommon. In particular, there have been reports of gastrointestinal illnesses such as gastroenteritis. Individuals vacationing on cruise ships are also at risk for food borne and water borne illnesses such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, hepatitis E virus, and Trichinella amongst others as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Respiratory illnesses are also typical on cruise ships. The CDC reports cases of influenza pandemics on ships as well as the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Legionnaires’ disease, which is a form of pneumonia. Legionnaire’s disease happens as a result of negligence by the cruise ship company and/or crew members and occurs when ship spas or water supply systems are contaminated with legionella as a result of unsanitary conditions and lack of routine maintenance.
To prevent individuals from having a lousy trip due to illness, the CDC recommends that people go to their health care physicians prior to going aboard the ship, bring any medications that are prescribed to them, and consider getting overseas healthcare for emergency situations.
Additionally, while people are on the ship, the CDC recommends individuals wash their hands frequently, avoid any contact with people that are sick, use sun protection, stay hydrated, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Some cruise ship accidents are time-sensitive and require passengers to file a claim within one year of his or her incident. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. have decades of experience handling boating and cruise ship cases. Call our office now at 1-877-853-7466 for your free consultation.