In the fall of 2013, a family was enjoying its final day of a five-day cruise on the Carnival Victory when their six-year-old son, Qwentyn Hunter, drowned in a pool full of revelers. It was the DJ who spotted the little boy in the pool and called for him to be pulled out of the water. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. The parents now have discovered what many people familiar with the cruise ship industry have learned, which is that there are limited remedies for those who have suffered serious harm on board a cruise ship, especially when the victims are children.
The complex interplay of maritime law and international registries makes getting justice for harm done on a cruise ship very difficult. The experienced and dedicated Miami cruise ship accident attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano understand how to develop the most effective legal strategy to get recourse for our clients. With more than 120 years of collective experience, our attorneys are committed to getting justice for victims of cruise ship negligence.
The parents of drowning victim Gwentyn Hunter have now gone public with their tragedy in order to prevent it from happening to someone else. The have learned about the Death on the High Seas Act, which is the wrongful death provision of maritime law. What this does is limit the damages that a victim’s family can receive to only economic losses. Therefore, one who loses a loved one may not be entitled for money for their loss, pain and suffering. Based on the way in which courts calculate the value of the death of a child in a cruise ship incident does not cost the cruise industry a lot of money because the child was not earning wages or a salary and therefore, the money paid to the grieving family is relatively low. This translates into little motivation to make cruise ships safer for children.
A cruise ship is packed full of people committed to having a great time on their vacation. They are advertised by the cruise lines as “fun family vacations.” The cruise lines try to ell as much alcohol to their passengers as possible. They have adult and child activities ad talk about ” asafe environment for kids.” Pools, hot tubs, wave pools, and other water attractions usually are near or at capacity. This means that it is difficult to see one small child who was gone under water. The fact that very few cruise ships have lifeguards on duty means that children drown on cruise ships every year. Cruise ships merely post notices that there are no lifeguards on duty. In addition, there are no requirements that staff members on board the ship be trained in CPR and other life-saving techniques, with the exception of the medical staff. Usually, there is no crew member nearby to successfully revive a victim who had drowned in the pool.
There have been previous attempts to modify the Death on the High Seas Act in order to hold cruise lines liable for their wrongdoing. An effort in the legislature in 2006 was soundly defeated after herculean efforts by the lobbyists working for the cruise industry. Over the past few years, we have seen may young children lose their lives on cruise ships sailing out of the United States. It is time there is another effort to force accountability on the cruise industry. In addition, it is long past time to make the cruise ships hire lifeguards in order to watch over the numerous in-pool and poolside activities. If you value the safety of children, yours and others, who want to enjoy a cruise vacation, it is important that your contact your representatives in Washington D.C (both Congressman and Senators) and ask hem to champion this important cause. How much could it cost to have someone looking out for others in a pool? Certainly less than the value of a life.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Fights to Get Justice for Cruise Ship Accident Victims
There are many things that can go wrong on a cruise ship when the ship operators and crew do not take every possible precaution to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its passengers. The skilled and knowledgeable Miami cruise accident attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will use every available resource to get the compensation that our clients deserve. With more than three decades spent advocating on behalf of our clients, our firm has the resources and commitment to get the best possible results for those injured on a cruise ship. We have been recognized for our excellence with an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell. The Miami Herald has voted us one of South Florida’s top-rated firms. Further, the distinguished legal society Primerus has invited us to join their ranks. To discuss what happened to you, please (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.