Although most cruise passengers experience a wonderful trip without any problems, there also are many people who unfortunately become sick or injured on a cruise ship. The problem with this is that there is no choice about the medical care that is available on the ship. For many years, a person who did not receive care that satisfied the standard of another doctor with the same training would not have any recourse against the cruise line. However, a recent court case has radically altered that reality for victims of cruise ship medical malpractice.
There are many different traumas that can impact a person who is taking a cruise vacation. When the medical standard of care fails, it is important to hold the doctors and other medical personnel liable for their wrongdoing. A recent change in the law may allow victims of medical malpractice to bring a legal action against the cruise line. The knowledgeable Miami cruise injury attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano are prepared to pursue justice on behalf of those who have been denied the opportunity to bring a legal action before now. Our dedicated attorneys have more than 130 years of collective experience in developing powerful cases on behalf of our clients.
Prior to the court case that has implemented the first major change in the medical malpractice environment on board cruise ships, courts consistently held that cruise ship passengers could not expect the same level of care on the ship that they would receive from a land-based medical practice or emergency facility. The recent ruling by the 11th United States Court of Appeals, which handles most cases arising out of the Florida cruise industry, held that the old rulings were out-of-date with the current state of the law. The case arose out of a situation where an 82 year old passenger fell and hit his head while disembarking the ship for an excursion. He was brought back to the ship to be examined by the ship’s medical personnel. A nurse examined the passenger and sent him back to his cabin to rest. Unfortunately, he had suffered from a traumatic brain injury that would lead to his death within a few days. The recent ruling means that the family can maintain a medical malpractice case against the cruise line.
In the past, cruise lines were deemed to be effectively immune from medical malpractice cases because the medical services were limited, the facilities were basic, and the doctors and nurses were independent contractors. However, the type of medical facilities available on board the cruise ships now are a feature that figure prominently in the amenities that are advertised to the public. These medical facilities are state-of-the-art and the medical professionals have the opportunity to consult with experts on land through video conferencing. Therefore, the passengers are reasonable in holding the medical personnel to the same standard of care as they would hold the doctors whom they otherwise would visit on land. Although this court case is only the first step in changing the law for everyone who has suffered from medical malpractice on board a cruise ship, it is an important change that is long overdue.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Advocates for Cruise Ship Injury Victims
There are many accidents, illnesses, and intentional acts that could require medical intervention for a person who is on a cruise vacation. When the medical treatment that is received on the ship fails to meet the standard of care expected of other medical professionals, then it is imperative to have the right to bring a medical malpractice action against the cruise line that operates the medical facility. The Miami cruise injury law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano has brought legal actions against the cruise lines for more than 30 years. We are ready to file legal actions on behalf of those who have suffered as the result of medical malpractice. Our superior legal representation for our clients has led to an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell. In addition, the Miami Herald has voted us one of South Florida’s top-rated law firms. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can get to work for you.