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This question recently arose in the case of Williams v. Carnival Corporation. The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami. Cruise ship attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano have a combined 130 years of litigation experience and have encountered cases like the Williams case. Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano understand the maritime laws that apply to injuries suffered by passengers on cruise ships.

In the Williams case, a passenger suffered injuries after falling ill on board. The onboard physician treated the sickened passenger. He suffered “debilitating neurological damage” from medical treatment that fell below the standard of care a doctor owes a patient.  Williams’ neurological damage is permanent.

Williams and his wife filed a claim for damages in court. They alleged that the physician and the cruise line committed medical malpractice when they negligently treated Williams. Williams’ wife filed a claim for loss of consortium.  The cruise line asked the judge to dismiss the case because maritime law, which must be applied in this circumstance because the boat was at sea, does not allow for spouses to file a loss of consortium claim. The judge agreed with the cruise line and dismissed the count of the complaint alleging a loss of consortium. Continue reading →

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Many people do not realize that a ticket to board a passenger ship is a binding contract, subject to certain limitations. One of the contract clauses courts will enforce is the “forum selection clause” on the ticket. Another clause courts will enforce is the requirement to notify the company in writing of any claim for personal injuries within a certain time frame.  Also, courts enforce the contractual one-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits from injuries arising on cruise ships.  As experienced cruise ship injury attorneys, we see a plaintiff’s failure to follow the contract clauses on their ticket can result in missing the opportunity to file a claim for personal injuries suffered on a cruise ship.

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano has handled many cases involving a dispute about the contract terms on a passenger ticket for a cruise ship. They understand the importance of closely following the contract terms on the passenger ticket, so a judge does not throw their clients’ claims out of court.

In the recently decided case of Newell v. Carnival Cruise Lines, the district court judge considered Carnival Cruise’s motion to dismiss for failure of the plaintiff, Newell, to bring a lawsuit before the contractual statute of limitations ran on Newell’s claim for personal injuries.  Newell suffered substantial personal injuries while leaving the ship and heading toward a customs post.  She ran into a metal stand improperly placed in the walkway area.  This collision and fall caused her substantial personal injuries.  Continue reading →

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines owns and operates the world’s largest cruise ship. Royal Caribbean launched the ship early in 2016. The ship’s name is “Harmony of the Seas.” The ship is massive. From bow to stern, the Harmony of the Seas is almost four American football fields long.  The ship reaches 200 feet, or approximately 25 stories into the air above the water line.  Its size is one thing. Its amenities are another. The vessel boasts 20 restaurants, 23 swimming pools, a casino, and a theater. The ship has the capacity to carry 8,000 passengers and crew. The Harmony of the Seas quite literally is a buoyant, yet grand, luxury hotel. The ship’s builders engineered the Harmony of the Seas so that all who sail upon her has the time of their lives.  The cruise ship attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano remind passengers that injuries and death can happen while at sea.

Unfortunately, the engineering marvel known as the Harmony of the Seas is not immune from tragedy.  According to the BBC, a crewmember lost his life in an accident on board. Four additional crewmen were injured as well. The mishap occurred while the crewmen were practicing lifeboat safety.  The lifeboat became dislodged from its moorings on the fifth deck. The craft and crew plummeted over 30 feet to the water below. As a result, a 42-year-old man lost his life, and two other men suffered life-threatening injuries. Continue reading →

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Miami cruise ship attorneys, Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, have over 130 combined years of litigation experience.  They have seen cases with many different factual scenarios. In fact, their experience will tell them that each case is unique: the people are different, the injuries are different, and the circumstances of the incident are different.  The defense to cruise ship claims, however, are predictable. Cruise ships try to avoid paying any money to compensate people for their injuries and use the same defenses in every case. Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano have the experience to anticipate certain defenses are prepared to counter them convincingly.

In the Thompson v. Carnival Corporation, the defendant Carnival asked the judge to dismiss the case against them when the plaintiff, Thompson, sued them for injuries Thompson suffered during a shore excursion. Thompson was a passenger aboard a Carnival cruise ship. During the cruise, Carnival offered all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) on shore excursions. Another company operated the ATV excursions. Thompson suffered serious injuries when the brakes of the ATV on which he rode failed.  Thompson sued Carnival and the excursion company. Continue reading →

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The notion that passenger ships must have life-saving equipment is over 100 years old. In 1914, two years after the Titanic sank, seafaring countries convened to debate a regulatory scheme designed to increase the survivability of cruise ship accidents. The result is a body of maritime regulations called “Safety of Life At Sea” or “SOLAS.” SOLAS continues to this day. Maritime countries observe SOLAS regulations implemented by the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”).  The IMO is an agency established by the United Nations with a goal toward increasing safety of maritime passenger for passenger ships and merchant ships, decrease pollution, and increasing ship security. The IMO diligently works to improve safety and life-saving features on cruise ships. Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano are experienced cruise ship attorneys who are ready to help if you or a loved one was hurt or killed at sea on a cruise ship.

The sinking of the Titanic taught mariners many hard lessons.  At the initial convention of sea-faring countries that would later become the IMO, thirteen sovereignties reached an agreement on minimum safety measures that each country would implement to increase the safety of passengers and crew.  The scarcity of lifeboats and lifejackets was a major contributor to the Titanic tragedy.  Consequently, the leading regulation agreed-upon by convention attendees related to the number of lifeboats and lifejackets. The regulation dubbed SOLAS’ “fundamental principle,” mandated that no passenger ship carry more people than the number that can fit in lifeboats onboard the cruise ship.  Also, the initial regulations mandated ships stow a lifejacket for each person, including children on board. Additionally, the seminal regulations imposed a duty on the cruise lines to install emergency lighting on board, required certification of the crew to captain a lifeboat, as well as rules regarding the crew mustering and drilling “once a fortnight.” Continue reading →

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Cruise ship attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano represent numerous clients who were injured while cruising. It is unfortunate that people get hurt while on vacation, but it does happen. If that unfortunate circumstance happens to you or someone you love, we can help you recover for your damages, including past medical bills and future medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings. Sometimes, the cruise lines have a valid defense to claims brought against them by injured passengers.

At Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, we have seen cases like the matter recently decided in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  In the case of Salazar v. Norweigein Cruise Line Holdings, the plaintiff in the case fell and injured himself on a dance floor. The plaintiff alleged that he fell on a spilled drink as he approached the disc jockey booth. The plaintiff admitted to having a few alcoholic beverages that evening. In fact, many people on the dance floor had drinks in their hands. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant cruise line was negligent by failing to clean the dance floor and that failure caused injuries to the plaintiff. The defendant cruise line argued that they did not have notice of the spilled drink and therefore was not negligent by failing to clean the dance floor. Continue reading →

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Cruise ship attorneys Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano keep a watchful eye on court decisions that potentially affect their clients. The case of Cubero v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD. is of great interest to them because the recent decision issued by the judge may adversely affect their clients. Analyzing the decision prepares these seasoned attorneys to use this decision for their clients. The degree of preparedness and legal acumen sets these cruise ship accident attorneys from Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano apart from others.

The District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently issued a decision in the Cubero v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD. case. The case comes before the court on a set of terribly tragic and unfortunate events. A man named Frank and a traveling companion set sail on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Liberty of the Seas. The cruise ship left from Fort Lauderdale and steamed toward its destination in Cozumel, Mexico. Frank took several alcoholic drinks one day during the voyage. At some point in time during the day, Frank’s traveling companion took ill and repaired to her stateroom. Frank went back to the bar and continued to drink. The same bartenders served Frank before and after his companion returned to her room. Frank was intoxicated, and the court found that his coordination and judgment suffered because of his high level of intoxication. Frank sat poolside for a little while then got up and went to the rail. Frank fell over the deck rail and plunged into the sea below. The emergency call for man overboard immediately rang out because someone saw Frank go over the railing. He was neither depressed nor suicidal. The crew stopped the ship and began a search of the area for Frank. The search was unsuccessful. The crew determined Frank drowned and no one recovered his body. At the time Frank died, he was living with and caring for his two children. His daughter was severely mentally handicapped after surviving a horrific car crash and his son battled Leukemia. Continue reading →

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Young children continue to fall victim to cruise ship accidents, and a recent accident has left one young boy with severe injuries.  As a cruise ship was traveling through the Caribbean, visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands as well as the Bahamas, an 8-year-old boy suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury (TBI) after falling on a basketball court on Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Escape.”   Reports indicate that at the time the accident occurred, the parents were not there to witness what happened.

However, there is apparently a video available documenting the young boy’s fall which would help to shed light on what happened.  Norwegian Cruise Lines has refused to produce the video to the family, and the family has taken legal action against the cruise line both to compel the cruise liner to turn over the video as well as to seek recovery for the young boy’s traumatic injuries.

The Injured 8-Year-Old Boy is Learning How to Walk Again

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have the potential to cause neurological challenges that could be temporary, or could last for a lifetime.  First and foremost, the young boy who suffered a fractured skull and TBI aboard the Escape is lucky to be alive, but he certainly faces challenges as he recovers from these devastating injuries.  At this time, the young boy has begun the process of learning how to walk again, something that we often take for granted.  Additional challenges TBI victims face include but are not limited to, the following: Continue reading →

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The Zika virus has caused an uproar worldwide and is one reason why the Rio Olympics may suffer this year, as many athletes and spectators have chosen not to go to Brazil for fear of contracting the Zika virus.  This particular virus has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect which causes infants to have small and misshapen heads.  Recent cases of Zika in the Miami area have caused South Florida residents some concern as the Zika virus has now officially been contracted in the United States.

Zika Cases Identified Near South Florida Port

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed four people contracted the Zika virus in a small area of downtown Miami, near the port where many cruise ships take off.  This has understandably caused many potential cruise ship goers concern as to whether or not it is safe to go on a cruise.  The Florida Department of Health believes the four cases of Zika were locally transmitted and not travel-related.  Continue reading →

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South Florida will be welcoming three new cruise ships this fall from Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America Line.  The largest of these three cruise ships, Royal Caribbean’s “Harmony of the Seas,” is equipped to handle 6,000 passengers, and will have seven separate “neighborhoods” aboard the ship.  The Harmony of the Seas cruise ship is the largest cruise ship ever built and will have an Imax theater, a Skyride “cycling track,” as well as a water park for children.  Carnival Cruise and Holland America Line will have similar amenities to serve their passengers.

Be Prepared if You Are Planning on Taking a Cruise

Cruise ships are widely popular, and the unveiling of three extremely large and updated cruise ships only confirms that the cruise ship industry is most certainly booming.  However, while cruise ships should be enjoyable vacations, problems can occur at any time without warning.  As such, if you take all steps possible to protect yourself, you may be able to reduce the risk that you and your loved ones will suffer an injury or illness while onboard the cruise ship. Continue reading →

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