Cruise Ship Passenger Accidents

Under the General Maritime Law of the United States cruise line operators owe their passengers a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances. In short, cruise line operators must provide passengers a safe cruise. Examples of cases in which cruise lines can be found to have breached their duty of care include:

Medical malpractice by cruise ship doctors and nurses. Under Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, 772 F. 3d 1225 (11th Cir. 2014), a cruise line can be found vicariously liable for negligent medical care provided by shipboard doctors and nurses on the shipboard medical facility. In other words, the cruise line can be legally responsible for the negligent acts of the ship’s doctors and nurses. See Maritime Attorney Carlos Llinás argue this issue in a recent case.

Sexual assault/harrasment on board a ship. In the context of sexual assault or attack by a crew member, most courts hold that a cruise line is strictly liable for sexual assaults committed by cruise ship employees. See, e.g. Doe v. Celebrity, Inc., 394 F. 3d 891 (11th Cir. 2004) (imposing strict liability on cruise line for attack).

Injuries on shore excursions on ports visited by ship. The cruise line’s duty of care extends beyond the gangplank to scheduled ports of call. Accordingly, a cruise line can be found responsible for injuries suffered by passengers on shore excursions. See Maritime Attorney Carlos Llinás argue this issue in a recent case.

Unsafe floors, stairs and other surfaces on the ship. It is often common for vessels to have unreasonably slippery and wet floor surfaces, this can in turn cause passengers to slip, fall and suffer severe injuries. Cruise operators have a duty to maintain open decks in a reasonably safe manners. This includes providing non-skid and non-slip surfaces, and prominent warnings when areas are slippery and/or wet. See Maritime Attorney Carlos Llinás argue this issue in a recent case.

Failure to evaucate, rescue and man overboard incidents. Ship operators owe its passengers a duty of reasonable care to furnish such aid and assistance. This duty can be discharged by putting into port or summoning air rescue. See Maritime Attorney Carlos Llinás argue this issue in a recent case.

If you suffered an accident on a ship, contact us for a free consultation.