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Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault –Part II

The life of 28-year-old Tristin was changed forever when she was held down and raped repeatedly by two Carnival crew members.  She is far from alone.  It is estimated that over 150 cruise ship passengers have been raped since 2010. Many of these rapes were committed by cruise ship crew members.

The sheer number of crew member rapes and sexual assaults has spurred some investigative agencies to examine the attitude of staff members towards passengers.  Inside Edition took on the quest, sending a staffer on a four-night cruise. The undercover staffer spotted several instances of inappropriate contact between employees and passengers, including dancing, kissing, and propositioning.  In Part II of this two-part series, we discuss the issue of crew member rapes and sexual assaults, along with liability for these catastrophic happenings.

Liability for Crewmember Rapes and Sexual Assaults

Cruise ships follow the laws of agency, meaning that a cruise line will be responsible for the actions of its employees.  Traditionally, strict liability has been the accepted theory for crew member rapes and sexual assaults.  Strict liability holds that the cruise ship will be held accountable when a crew member rapes or assaults a passenger and there is no need to prove that the cruise line acted negligently or knew the crew member had a record for assaulting others.

However, there was a question as to whether the rule of strict liability still applies in the post-Kermarec area.  Kermarec v. Compagnie Generale was decided in 1959.  It held that cruise ships owe a duty of reasonable care towards passengers.  In a 2004 case entitled Doe v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc. involving a rape aboard Celebrity Cruises, the cruise line asserted that strict liability for crew member actions should no longer apply post-Kermarec and instead the court should look to whether the cruise line provided reasonable care.  The court rejected this argument, finding that the Kermarec negligence standard applies to slip and fall and other physical conditions, but does not impact the unconditional responsibility exception for crew member misconduct towards passengers.

This Florida case makes it easier for passengers who are raped or sexually assaulted by crew members to obtain compensation.  Passengers need not establish negligence on the part of the cruise line; rather, they must prove the rape occurred and establish their damages.  In order to later be able to prove the rape occurred, all sexual assault victims should report the assault immediately and obtain a physical examination right away.  This is critical not just to your later case, but also to your health.  Rape and sexual assault victims should seek the assistance of a licensed cruise ship accident attorney as soon as possible after the attack.

Contact the Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano Today For Your Free Consultation!

Cruise ship sexual assaults and rapes are devastating for the victims.  Sexual assault victims will require experienced assistance to successfully receive the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured aboard a cruise ship, contact the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano.  Our outstanding cruise ship accident attorneys will diligently fight for your full recovery.  We have over 130 collective years of experience representing cruise ship accident victims across South Florida and will put our considerable experience to work for you.  Contact our firm as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.  Our firm is proud to have received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and is ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald.  Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

Source:

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3442083674830785562&q=cruise+rape&hl=en&as_sdt=40006

http://www.insideedition.com/investigative/7834-inside-edition-investigates-alleged-sexual-assault-on-cruise-ship

 

 

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