WHY WE REPRESENT CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS

AND CREW MEMBERS

We represent passengers and crew members against cruise lines because we believe that every case that we bring helps to make your vacation or work environment safer.  We believe we still have a lot of work to do.

We also believe that the cruise lines collectively take advantage of, and mistreat their passengers and crew.  They register their ships in foreign countries to avoid the labor laws of the United States – where their home offices are located.  They incorporate in “tax havens” like Liberia, the Bahamas, or Panama, so that they avoid paying US taxes on the profits they earn from American passengers.  They provide terrible medical care to their passengers and crew and refuse to pay for appropriate and qualified doctors and facilities to make sure their passengers and crew are safe.   They force their crew members to work excessive hours in violation of maritime labor laws and tell their employees to falsify time records so that it appears that they comply with the law.  They pay many of their employees, even those that do not receive tips, less than $700 per month for working seven days a week, often doing 10-12 hours of difficult manual labor that is unseen by the passengers.  Oftentimes, when the crew members are permanently injured from being overworked or working in dangerous environments, the cruise line sends them home to fend for themselves or provides them medical care with terrible doctors that makes them worse. They force their crew members to waive their rights to a public jury trial in the United States in favor of a private and confidential arbitration under foreign laws where their mistreatment of the crew will be concealed from the media.

We take our cases seriously and we believe that if we make the cruise lines’ mistakes or business decisions expensive enough, case-by-case we can force the cruise lines to change for the better.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS A CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER

If you have been injured while on a cruise, you should know that time is of the essence. In many cases, your “ticket contract” issued by the cruise line will control when and where you have to file your lawsuit.  For many cruise lines, the ticket contract will state that your lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date of your incident and that your lawsuit must be filed in Miami-Dade County, Florida. In nearly all cases, you will be bound by this “ticket contract” whether you were aware of it or not. As of the time of writing this page the following cruise lines require that they be sued, if at all, in Miami-Dade County

  • Carnival Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean (American brand)
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Regent Seven Seas
  • Oceania
  • MSC

However, some cruise lines require that they be sued in other venues. For example, Disney Cruises (Magical Cruise Line) requires that it be sued either the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, or Brevard County, Florida, Circuit Court.  However, we have encountered instances where, for example, a Royal Caribbean cruise (operated by Royal Caribbean’s Chinese brand) contained a forum selection clause requiring that all claims or lawsuits be filed in China.  You must review your ticket contract to determine the venue applicable to your case.

If you fail to file your lawsuit in the correct venue within the contractually shortened statute of limitations, your case may be dismissed or barred forever.  Therefore, it is very important that you read your ticket contract carefully and hire an attorney that actively handles cruise ship accident cases.  By hiring a lawyer that does not actively handle these cases, you could jeopardize your ability to bring a claim.

EXPERIENCED, KNOWLEDGEABLE CRUISE SHIP INJURY LAWYERS

The lawyers at our firm have over 15 years of combined experience litigating cruise ship injury cases. At any given time we represent between 30 and 50 cruise ship passengers and crew members against the major cruise lines.  By constantly litigating cases against the cruise lines we know the ins and outs of the cruise industry and exactly what information we need to prove your case.  We are also familiar with all of the defense lawyers that represent the cruise lines and they know us.

Slip-and-Falls or Trip-and-Falls

Slip-and-falls or Trip-and-falls are the most common causes of passenger and crew injury aboard cruise ships.  There are many different causes of these accidents including failure to clean a spill, failure to warn of a dangerous condition on the floor, failure to place a warning sign in a correct location, failure to install a flooring surface with a safe coefficient of friction, failure to comply with building and design standards, failure to use reasonable care in cleaning the ship, failure to repair damaged or worn out stairs and flooring surfaces, and countless other causes.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is a common occurrence on cruise ships.  Cruise lines almost never hire American trained or licensed doctors to work on their ships.  Instead, they hire inexpensive doctors to provide care for their customers and employees when people have medical emergencies in the middle of the ocean.  In addition, the cruise lines provide these unqualified doctors with minimal medical equipment to do their job.  The result is that many passengers and crew members suffer injuries that are made far worse by inappropriate medical treatment or misdiagnosis.

Man Overboard/Drowning

Whether this accident happens while the cruise ship is at sea or while in port, the cruise line has a duty to search for, locate, and rescue the victim. Man overboard cases are very challenging to litigate and often emotionally draining for the victim.  The most common defense in these cases is to blame the victim.  Drowning cases most often involve children in the public swimming pools on ships.  Despite the fact that these drownings are relatively common occurrences, oftentimes, the cruise lines choose not to have a lifeguard watching the public pools to save money.