Recently, one crew member died and another had to be hospitalized after a lifeboat accident occurred on a Princess Cruises cruise ship. The accident occurred while the ship Coral Princess, was in Colon, Panama. Two crew members were lowering the lifeboat to perform maintenance work on the ship’s hull. As the lifeboat was in the process of being raised back into position on the ship, a cable snapped and the boat plunged into the sea with the two crew members still aboard.
A rescue effort immediately began and the two ship members were fished out of the water. Both crew were transferred to a hospital on the shore for emergency treatment. Sadly, one crew member died later on from his injuries. The Princess Cruises line released a statement expressing its condolences to the family.
This is not the first accident to occur on a cruise line involving lifeboats. In February of 2013, our Miami cruise ship accident lawyers learned that five crew members were killed and another three injured in the Thompson Majesty when one of the ship’s lifeboats pummeled into the sea in the Canary Islands during a training drill intended to assist in the event of an emergency.
When crew members are injured at sea, complex legal issues arise. Whereas most shore side employees are barred from suing their employers due to the immunity provided under the Worker’s Compensation Act, crew members are generally able to qualify as seamen under admiralty law. These crew members are thus afforded special rights and remedies not available to other workers.
Crew members who are injured at sea may commonly sue their employer or the ship owner under theories of:
- Jones Act negligence
- Breach of contract
- Earned wages
- Unearned or sick wages
- Maintenance and cure
- Wrongful discharge from employment
Each of these claims are complex and will require several elements be proven to a judge or jury. It is imperative that injured crew members as well as the family members of deceased crew members contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss their potential case. You will need to find an attorney well-versed in the unique area of cruise ship accident law, which involves novel laws, theories of liability, and steps for recovery.
Injured crew members may be able to obtain compensation for the medical expenses they incur as a result of the injury, wages for the time they will lose from work due to the accident, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs. Those unable to return to work due to the injuries sustained may be eligible for additional compensation intended to provide for the long term nature of the injuries.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting Passengers and Crew members Injured Aboard Cruise Ships
Working on a cruise line should be the dream job, with beautiful sights, the opportunity to travel, and often great benefits. Despite these clear perks of the job, cruises can also pose serious dangers to crew members as well as passengers. The Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have assisted many crew members and passengers injured aboard cruise ships. We have also represented the family members of deceased crew members and passengers alike. Our attorneys have over 130 years combined experience and will aggressively fight for your full recovery following a cruise related incident. Our unmatched professional excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and acknowledgement as one of South Florida’s preeminent firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin fighting for your recovery.