Articles Posted in Negligent Security

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Although cruises offer virtually unlimited access entertainment, activities, culinary delights, and tours, passengers can suffer serious physical and emotional injury when cruise line operators fail to provide adequate security.  Attacks against passengers and crew members that include rape, sexual battery, and other violent offenses occur on cruise ships and during shore excursions more often than you might think.  Cruise ships have a duty to properly screen their crewmembers to prevent hiring individuals prone to commit criminal acts and to implement security procedures to keep passengers safe.  Despite these duties, cruise lines sometimes fail to provide adequate security resulting in devastating consequences for cruise passengers.  In this blog, our cruise injury lawyers discuss a recent incident reported by the media demonstrating exactly the wrong way for a cruise line to handle a passenger who reports a criminal attack.

This tragic incident involved an accomplished violinist and competitive swimmer named Mary who was enthralled by the idea of cruises.  She collected cruise brochures when she would happen to pass a travel agency.  Her fascination with cruises suddenly turned dark when she suffered a sexual assault on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, which was reported in the New Times.  While experiencing a sexual assault is a horrific event under any circumstances, the cruise line was so dismissive regarding the consequences of this passenger’s experience that they made they situation worse. Continue reading →

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If you have been on a cruise vacation involving any of the major cruise lines, you know that many of the recreational activities, tours, and shopping trips occur during excursions.  Despite the fact that you might have heard of an excursion from a crew member and signed up aboard the ship, cruise lines will work diligently to avoid liability for accidents that occur because of negligence during these activities.  The ticket contract that you did not sign, and almost certainly did not read closely, will include a provision expressly indicating that the cruise company is not liable for injuries caused by the negligence of the individuals and companies sponsoring or hosting these activities.  In this blog post, our cruise injury lawyers examine a recent lawsuit filed against Royal Caribbean cruise lines for injuries sustained by passengers during an auto accident while on a shore excursion.

According to the Miami Herald report, the crash caused injury to more than a dozen passengers and the death of another passenger.  The passengers were injured while riding on a tour bus in Jamaica that collided with a truck on its way back to the Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas.  The news report indicated that passengers of cruise ships that participate in such excursions are routinely “shocked” by the erratic driving of the Jamaican tour drivers on narrow winding roads.  Continue reading →

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When parents decide to take their family on a cruise, they do not anticipate their children will be exposed to sexual abuse.  Despite these expectations, you might not learn about such incidents from the cruise company when they occur.  In late January, a cruise employee allegedly enticed a teenage girl into performing a sex act.  According to a report by Local 10 News, a waiter aboard the Holland America cruise ship, MS Veendam, was arrested after he had a 15-year-old girl perform a sex act. The employee was charged with a lewd and lascivious act involving a minor.  The news source learned of the incident and reported it to the public.  The tactics used by the cruise line to avoid disclosing the incident focus attention on the difficult task of determining the risk of being the victim of a crime when deciding to take a cruise.

Our Miami cruise accident lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano know that most people that schedule a vacation on a cruise anticipate that the cruise company will implement adequate security measures.  Passengers also might be inclined to assume that the cruise line will elect to work with tour and recreation providers that screen their employees and adopt appropriate security practices.  Although these beliefs might seem reasonable, people are victims of crimes like rape, sexual assault, sexual molestation and other offenses on cruises each year.  Because certain cruise lines might be lax regarding security measures and protocols, travelers should investigate the security record of a cruise line before making a choice.  This task is not as easy as it might seem because of crime reporting practices in the cruise industry. Continue reading →

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Cruise ships often accommodate 3,000 guests or more. These massive floating cities have significant security needs.  At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our cruise ship attorneys understand the critical importance of security cameras on cruise ships. Cruise ships are equipped with pools, casinos, restaurants, and numerous other areas that could pose a threat to passengers.  Cruise ship surveillance provides important benefits, such as:

  • Crime prevention: Surveillance cameras can help to deter crimes, including theft and acts of violence. When crimes occur, footage of the incidents will prove important for prosecution.
  • Missing persons: There have been several cases of missing persons on cruise ships, and cameras are often the only way to trace the missing individual.
  • Accidents: Accidents happen on cruise ships and when they do, camera footage of the accident can be critical to determining the cruise line’s liability.

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Cruise ship negligence cases, as with all negligence claims, center around the issue of whether the cruise ship and its employees failed to fulfill a duty of care owed to a passenger under the circumstances. As the case below illustrates, the extent of the duty of care owed depends on the facts of each case.

In Carroll v. Carnival Corp., a person was a first-time passenger who suffered two separate cruise ship injuries. The passenger first slipped and fell in one of the cruise ship’s elevators and broke her elbow. Two days later, the passenger slipped and fell again in one of the cabin bathrooms and broke her femur. After returning to port, the passenger filed a negligence suit in a federal district court in Miami against the cruise ship company alleging two counts negligence. Additionally, the passenger claimed that the cruise ship company’s duty of care to her increased after the initial accident.

During the trial, the plaintiff indicated that she was not under any form of special restrictions after the initial accident. According to her testimony, she received treatment at a port of call by a local doctor, who placed her arm in a sling. The doctor gave her no special instructions to refrain from certain activities, walk in a particular manner, or wear specific clothing. The plaintiff did not ask the ship staff for assistance in moving about the cruise ship, and later, she slipped while in the bathroom after some difficulties with her clothing. Continue reading →

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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. Continue reading →

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Cruise ships offer fun for the whole family.  These floating vacation havens abound with pools, slides, parties, and more.  However, behind all these attractions and glee is the potential for danger.  Cruise ships bring together thousands of people in close quarters.  Cruise ship employees come from all different countries and walks of life, as to the passengers.  These conditions combine to present the risk of sexual assaults and rapes.  It is believed that hundreds of sexual assaults and rapes have occurred aboard cruise ships in the past few years.  Many sexual assaults go unreported and others are hidden from the public eye.

Liability for Cruise Ship Rapes

Cruise ship rapes and sexual assaults can be broken down into two categories:  those committed by employees and those committed by others. Many cruise ship sexual assaults involve cruise line employees, but some have occurred at the hands of other passengers or third parties.  In this segment, we discuss rapes perpetrated by non-employees.  We address employee rapes and sexual assaults in Part II of this two part look at cruise ship rapes and sexual assaults. Continue reading →

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Cruises provide a wealth of fun and recreational activities for family members of all ages.  Although this form of travel offers a cornucopia of activities, they can pose serious risks, especially if third parties companies recommended by the cruise line during shore excursions fail to comply with industry safety standards.  However, federal maritime law related to personal injuries suffered by passengers during activities on land during a cruise can be complicated.  A recent lawsuit heard in federal court for the Southern District of Florida provides a primer for the analysis a court will apply when considering the liability of a cruise line for this type of activity.  This two-part blog post analyzes this case to provide a detailed analysis of the inquiry a court will engage in when determining whether a cruise line is liable for injuries caused by another company during a shore excursion.  Part I of this blog focuses on the facts of the case while Part II reviews the court’s analysis of the cruise ship injury victim’s theories of liability.

In Wolf v. Celebrity Cruises, a passenger was injured while engaging in zip line activity with a company that had been promoted by the cruise line.  Mr. Wolf failed to raise his legs while zip lining from an elevated platform to a platform on the ground, which resulted in serious injury.  He had signed Celebrity’s Cruise/Cruisetour Ticket Contract which provided as follows: Continue reading →

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The cruise ship accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano know how stressful and confusing it can be to be involved in a cruise ship accident.  We offer the following look at some questions frequently asked by cruise ship accident victims.  For assistance with your individual case, call us as soon as possible after your injury.

Q:  What do I do after I have been injured on a cruise ship?

A:  You should first seek appropriate medical care.  Contact the ship’s medical center right away.  The ship should offer 24 hour medical care, ensuring you receive the medical attention you need no matter when the accident occurs. Continue reading →

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In July, a cruise ship passenger fell from her cabin balcony on the Costa Fortuna while it was docked at a Norwegian city.  Authorities could not confirm whether the passenger jumped or fell as she was in a coma when rescued.  Now, the 53 year old has woken up and states she was not suicidal and did not jump.  The woman informed police that she was in an abusive relationship and went on a cruise in an attempt to mend it.  She and her allegedly abusive boyfriend argued shortly before the fall.

While she cannot remember being pushed, she believes there is no way she jumped.  The passenger did not want to commit suicide and remembers the long drop during which she screamed for help.  Surveillance video depicts the woman hanging from the balcony for a few seconds before falling over.  Police have not officially named the passenger as a suspect, but investigations are ongoing and in light of this new information, the incident will be closely examined. Continue reading →

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