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When most of us purchase cruise ship tickets, we may glance at the contract enclosed on or with the ticket, but few of us will analyze its terms.  However, those contract terms could become monumentally important in the event you are injured while on the cruise ship.  As such, it is vital that you read the contract before you set sail on the cruise.  This contract will provide you with much information concerning how, when, and where you can file in a claim if you are unfortunately injured or take seriously ill on the cruise ship.

The Miami cruise ship accident lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have considerable experience with cruise ship contracts.  We understand how influential these contracts can be when filing suit for a cruise ship accident.  We also know what terms within the contract are unlikely to be enforceable, which is of considerable value to injured passengers.  Our extensive experience is vital to the success of the clients we represent, leading to their receipt of damages. Continue reading →

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No cruise ship is complete without an elaborate water slide and pool.  Cruise lines increasingly compete today to have the most daring water slides and innovative pools.  Implicitly, the pool deck is where many children spend the majority of the cruise while their parents engage in adult activities like reading or enjoying a cocktail poolside.  Unfortunately, there is little supervision in the pool area which is often crowded with kids and adults.  This leads to the potential for accidents and water slide or pool accidents can result in serious injuries.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our cruise ship accident attorneys know all too well the dangers of pools and water slides aboard large cruise ships, particularly for children.  Our firm has represented a number of clients injured in water related and pool deck accidents.  These clients will often suffer severe injuries or may have even lost a loved one. We fight for our injured clients and their families to obtain the full compensation they deserve.  Continue reading →

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In October of 2013, 80 year old Elizabeth McQuillan went on a seven day cruise leaving from New Orleans aboard the Norwegian Jewel.  The trip was intended to be one of relaxation and fun. She boarded the ship and went to her cabin, but found her luggage was not there. She looked down the hallway and spotted it a few doors down from her cabin so she went to retrieve it.  However, as she walked towards the luggage there was a small step which caused her to trip and fall.  She dislocated her shoulder in the accident.  McQuillan required shoulder replacement surgery as a result of the accident. She filed suit against Norwegian Cruise Lines for a sum of $850,000 to cover her injuries and related expenses. Her case, though ultimately triumphant, highlights some of the challenges facing cruise ship accident victims.

Our cruise ship accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have over 130 years of collective experience assisting cruise ship accident victims.  Our firm is dedicated to providing our injured clients with superior legal representation.  With our assistance, injured cruise ship accident victims can take on the massive cruise lines and obtain a full recovery. Continue reading →

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Thus far in 2016, there have been a few outbreaks of norovirus aboard cruise ships.  Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes intense stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This illness can prove dangerous, especially for young children and older adults.  Common complications of norovirus include dehydration, malnutrition, and rarely even death.  Our cruise ship accident lawyers have found that cruise ships are potential sites of norovirus contamination due to the sheer number of people aboard and close quarters.

In January, the first norovirus case of the year occurred on a cruise ship out of Los Angeles.  Approximately six percent of passengers aboard the Crown Princess contracted the illness, leaving over 3,000 sick.  The Crown Princess has been the site of several norovirus outbreaks in previous years.

More recently, passengers aboard the Oceania Riviera took ill with norovirus.  About ten percent of the passengers are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and the like.  The ship will be evaluated upon its return to Miami to attempt to determine the cause of the outbreak and whether the ship followed sanitation protocol. Continue reading →

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Recently, a cruise ship passenger died after a shore excursion accident in St. Kitts. The passenger was traveling aboard the Carnival Glory, a ship which departed from Miami for 10 nights in the Eastern Caribbean.  According to reports, the guest was participating in Snuba, a form of diving with air provided from above the water.  This shore excursion was apparently booked through the cruise line.  It is unclear what happened during the excursion, but the passenger experienced some sort of distress.  An ambulance arrived some 20 minutes after it was called and pronounced the man dead at the scene of the accident.

Cruise Ship Liability for Shore Excursion Accidents

The cruise ship can be held accountable for shore excursion accidents dependent upon the individual circumstances of the accident.  There are several issues that a court will consider in assessing the potential liability of the cruise line, including: Continue reading →

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Recently, the first lawsuit was filed against Royal Caribbean by an Anthem of the Seas passenger.  The lawsuit challenges the cruise line’s decision to sail despite predictions of serious storms.  The lawsuit is entitled Simpson v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and it was filed in South Florida.  In the lawsuit, the cruise ship passenger stated that the massive cruise ship rocked and tilted violently during the ill-fated voyage and he was flung some 18 feet against the door of his cabin, knocking him unconscious.

The Miami cruise ship accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano assist cruise ship passengers like those aboard the Anthem of the Seas who experience injuries and other trauma while cruising.  We are saddened to hear of the horrific experience of the passengers aboard the Anthem of the Seas and hope this cruise ship disaster provides a learning experience so that others do not have to experience the fear of these passengers in the future.  Our firm continues to provide experienced and dedicated representation to all injured cruise ship passengers. Continue reading →

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When a passenger is injured while at sea or on shore during a cruise, the complex matrix of applicable laws and jurisdictional authority makes pursuing a legal claim challenging.  While maritime law governs such claims, gaps in this area of law often mean that Florida statutory or common law will govern particular legal claims.  Many people presume that the cruise line will be liable for injuries that occur during a cruise, but liability must be established through development of sufficient legal and factual allegations to state a valid cause of action (typically negligence).  The recent federal case, Rojas v. Carnival, illustrates that a legal claim for negligence in a maritime action cannot be pursued without a reasonable degree of factual specificity.

Our cruise ship injury lawyers found that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit after suffering injury in a scooter accident after the brakes failed.  The parties rented the scooter during a land excursion while the Carnival Sensation cruise ship was docked in the Nassau, Bahama port area.  The motorized bike crashed into a light pole when the brakes suddenly failed, causing the plaintiff to suffer serious injuries. Continue reading →

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When a passenger on a cruise is injured, there are many complex issue that must be resolved.  The issue of jurisdiction, which refers, at least in part, to the court empowered to hear the case.  The issue of jurisdiction is especially complicated when the action involves injuries to cruise ship passengers because issues that must be considered include whether the accident occurred at sea, during a shore excursion, with the ship moored in port, or as passengers were embarking or disembarking from the cruise ship.  The recent case of Newell v. Carnival Cruise Lines, 2015 WL 7280635 (3rd DCA 2015) illustrates the complex analysis involved in determining jurisdiction when passengers are disembarking from a cruise ship once back in Miami port.

The plaintiff Maria Newell (“Newell”) was a passenger on the Carnival Cruise Line Imagination and suffered injury after the ship returned to port in Miami. Newell was injured while walking in a restricted area in the terminal.  The complaint alleged that she tripped over a metal stand that was located in a walkway between the luggage claim and U.S. Customs station.  Newell filed her lawsuit in the Florida state court located in Miami-Dade County.  The lawsuit alleged that Carnival was negligent in maintaining the walkway in a safe condition. Continue reading →

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This is the second installment of a two-part blog post discussing the federal case of Wolf v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc.  This installment analyzes application of the law given the specific facts in the case, but you are invited to read Part I for a clear outline of the facts.  Wolf advanced a number of legal theories supporting liability that included: (1) duty to warn, (2) negligent hiring and retention, (3) joint venture, and (4) actual agency.  In analyzing these claims, the court observed that federal maritime law applies to torts committed aboard a ship on navigable waters.  These rules of liability also extend to ports-of-call and excursions on land according to the court.  Further, the court noted that the disclaimers in the passenger ticket contract and the OCT waiver cannot shield the cruise line from liability for their own negligence that causes injury to passengers.  Wolf contended that the cruise line was negligent in failing to warn passengers of dangerous conditions related to the zip line excursion.  He also alleged that the cruise line was negligent in selecting and retaining OCT.

In response to these contentions by Wolf, the cruise line presented the following evidence that it was not negligent: Continue reading →

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Cruises provide a wealth of fun and recreational activities for family members of all ages.  Although this form of travel offers a cornucopia of activities, they can pose serious risks, especially if third parties companies recommended by the cruise line during shore excursions fail to comply with industry safety standards.  However, federal maritime law related to personal injuries suffered by passengers during activities on land during a cruise can be complicated.  A recent lawsuit heard in federal court for the Southern District of Florida provides a primer for the analysis a court will apply when considering the liability of a cruise line for this type of activity.  This two-part blog post analyzes this case to provide a detailed analysis of the inquiry a court will engage in when determining whether a cruise line is liable for injuries caused by another company during a shore excursion.  Part I of this blog focuses on the facts of the case while Part II reviews the court’s analysis of the cruise ship injury victim’s theories of liability.

In Wolf v. Celebrity Cruises, a passenger was injured while engaging in zip line activity with a company that had been promoted by the cruise line.  Mr. Wolf failed to raise his legs while zip lining from an elevated platform to a platform on the ground, which resulted in serious injury.  He had signed Celebrity’s Cruise/Cruisetour Ticket Contract which provided as follows: Continue reading →

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