Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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Although cruises are inherently exciting because of the almost unlimited choices of entertainment, excursions, and recreational activities, an international cruise on the Amazon offers a unique experience.  While this type of adventure also could pose potential dangers, most cruise passengers presume their cruise line complies with or exceeds industry safety standards.  This assumption is inaccurate in some cases.  Although a fatally injured passenger might have a right to pursue a lawsuit seeking damages, this can be a difficult task to the extent the Death on the High Seas Act represents the controlling law.  In this blog, our cruise ship injury lawyers review a cruise ship tragedy that reveals the vulnerability of passengers.

Larry and Christie Hammer, an elderly married couple embarked on an Amazon River cruise offered by a Peruvian company.  While the couple was sleeping in their cabin, a power strip supplied by the cruise company and used by the plaintiff to power his CPAP machine caused a fire.  Even after the couple’s cabin was engulfed in flame, no fire alarms sounded.  Mr. Hammer died on the scene, and his wife died from carbon dioxide poisoning on the way to a hospital.  Because fire alarms did not alert the Hammers and crew members of the fire, the fire raged on for 21 minutes before any cruise personnel came to the couple’s aid.  Continue reading →

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Although cruise lines often market their ships as vacation destinations for families, many major cruise lines have elected to operate without lifeguards for decades.  In the wake of multiple drownings aboard ships operated by most of the major cruise companies, the industry is shifting toward using lifeguards to improve passenger safety.  With the announcement by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian that they will be implementing a water safety program, Carnival remains the only remaining major cruise company not to use lifeguards.  In this blog, our Miami cruise injury lawyers examine this announcement and trend in the wake of recent drownings and near drownings on cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise ships have averaged at least one drowning or near drowning incident annually since 2013.  An eight-year-old boy was reportedly on life support after being found unconscious in a swimming pool of Royal Caribbean’s “Anthem of the Seas’ in July 2016.  In another incident, an eight-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool on Royal Caribbean’s “Liberty of the Seas,” which did not have a lifeguard on duty in December of 2015.  A near drowning incident in January of 2015 prompted publication of an article in the Miami Herald regarding the risk pools posed to children traveling on cruises because of the absence of lifeguards.  These are merely a few recent examples of drowning and near drowning incidents on these two cruise lines in recent years. Continue reading →

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When you are riding on a ferry or cruise liner, you probably never consider the possibility of a collision between vessels.  While these types of accidents are rare, they do occur and can result in severe injury or even loss of life.  Insurers of commercial owners of vessels that provide boating excursions to the public understand the complex maritime and admiralty law that apply in such incidents and that possess the litigation resources to tenaciously fight liability.  In certain cases, ship owners will utilize tactics designed to cap the damage recovery and deprive an injured passenger or surviving family members of full recovery for their loss.  In this blog post, our cruise accident attorneys review the recent federal court decision in Holzhauer v. Gold Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District regarding the attempt of a ferry line owner to limit liability for injuries incurred in a collision with another vessel.

Our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers are very familiar with a strategy commonly employed by owners of ships to limit their negligence liability for boating accidents.  The ferry was taking about 500 passengers on a thirty-minute excursion when it crashed into a speed boat.  Two people on the speed boat incurred injuries in the collision causing one to die.  The captain of both vessels indicated they did not notice the other vehicle until it was too late to avoid the accident.  The plaintiff introduced evidence that the captain of the ferry was using his mobile phone immediately before the vessels collided.  The estate of the decedent alleged that the captain of the ferry was distracted which constituted the proximate cause of the fatal collision. Continue reading →

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Cruise ship attorneys Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano keep a watchful eye on court decisions that potentially affect their clients. The case of Cubero v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD. is of great interest to them because the recent decision issued by the judge may adversely affect their clients. Analyzing the decision prepares these seasoned attorneys to use this decision for their clients. The degree of preparedness and legal acumen sets these cruise ship accident attorneys from Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano apart from others.

The District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently issued a decision in the Cubero v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD. case. The case comes before the court on a set of terribly tragic and unfortunate events. A man named Frank and a traveling companion set sail on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Liberty of the Seas. The cruise ship left from Fort Lauderdale and steamed toward its destination in Cozumel, Mexico. Frank took several alcoholic drinks one day during the voyage. At some point in time during the day, Frank’s traveling companion took ill and repaired to her stateroom. Frank went back to the bar and continued to drink. The same bartenders served Frank before and after his companion returned to her room. Frank was intoxicated, and the court found that his coordination and judgment suffered because of his high level of intoxication. Frank sat poolside for a little while then got up and went to the rail. Frank fell over the deck rail and plunged into the sea below. The emergency call for man overboard immediately rang out because someone saw Frank go over the railing. He was neither depressed nor suicidal. The crew stopped the ship and began a search of the area for Frank. The search was unsuccessful. The crew determined Frank drowned and no one recovered his body. At the time Frank died, he was living with and caring for his two children. His daughter was severely mentally handicapped after surviving a horrific car crash and his son battled Leukemia. Continue reading →

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The Amazon River has already encountered cruise ship accidents this year, but a recent accident onboard the Aqua Amazon cruise ship is proving to be more tragic.  For reasons unknown at this time, an explosion occurred on the cruise ship, and a fire broke out.  The fire caused the boat to sink and left many crew members injured, and a few of these crew members have lost their lives.

At this time, there are five crew members still missing from the ship.  The number of missing crew members was originally seven, but two bodies were later recovered.  A total of eight crew members have been hospitalized, and while five of these crew members are stable and receiving necessary medical attention, three of these crew members are being treated in the intensive care unit.

The timing of this cruise ship could have been worse had passengers been onboard the Aqua Amazon at the time the fire broke out.  While it is horrific that these crew members suffered the consequences of a cruise ship fire, hundreds if not thousands of others could have been injured or killed if the ship was currently holding passengers. Continue reading →

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Young children continue to fall victim to swimming pool accidents on cruise ships, and a recent accident only confirms that a problem truly exists on board many cruise ships.  Just last month, an 8-year-old boy lost his life two days after being found lying in a pool on board the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship.  Coast Guard officials believe the boy was in one of the cruise ship’s swimming pools for approximately 8-10 minutes before being found.  While the boy did survive for two days following the swimming pool accident, the cause of his death was ruled a drowning.

Should Cruise Ships Have Lifeguards on Duty?

The vast majority of cruise ships do not have lifeguards on duty to monitor passengers (both children and adults) swimming in cruise ship pools.  Many cruise ships also have more than one pool, leading many people to ask why cruise ships have not enlisted the services of lifeguards.

Some cruise ships take the position that passengers swim at their risk and are responsible for watching their children at all times when swimming in the pool.  On the flip side, many passengers believe that if a cruise ship is going to make the decision to have swimming pools, then the cruise ship is also taking on the responsibility to ensure the swimming pools are equipped with lifeguards. Continue reading →

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The cruise liner Norwegian Breakaway recently lost one of its crew members during a weekly safety drill when a lifeboat carrying the crew member detached from its tethering, which, according to some accounts, may have been left hanging by one wire before the accident occurred.  A nearby tour boat attempted to bring the 41-year-old crew member to safety, but despite its best efforts, the man later lost his life.  The man had several broken bones and was unable to move.  The impact of slamming into the ocean likely caused this man significant injuries that resulted in his untimely death.

Who is to Blame?

It is unfortunate that a crew member has lost his life while undergoing a weekly safety drill that presumably is meant to make the cruise ship safer and to ensure all crew members know what to do in an emergency.  More likely than not, the focus of the investigation of this cruise ship accident will be on whether or not the lifeboat was safely attached to the cruise liner so that there was a decreased chance of the lifeboat detaching and dropping into the ocean. Continue reading →

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We all take a risk by deciding to take a cruise, just as we take a risk by driving and by traveling on an airplane.  There are general risks that most people are willing to take.  However, there are additional risks that cruise ship passengers are exposed to that they may not be aware of.  A recent investigation undertaken in Britain demonstrates that cruise ship passengers may not be as safe as they think they are.

Our cruise ship injury lawyers have extensive experience handling cruise ship accident cases that involve, among others, injuries relating to cruise ship swimming pools.  The story more fully discussed below describes just how dangerous cruise ship swimming pools can be and how innocent individuals have suffered injuries and deaths that may have been preventable.

The British investigation mentioned above reveals that cruise ship swimming pool drownings have become a significant concern.  A 7-year-old child drowned in a swimming pool while on vacation with his family.  Another case involves a female passenger who also drowned in a cruise ship swimming pool, and her situation proves to be particularly alarming for a number of reasons that include, but may not be limited to, the following: Continue reading →

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One of the most gruesome and tragic cruise ship accidents to occur happened recently when a Carnival cruise electrician was crushed to death while doing routine maintenance on one of Carnival’s vessels.  The circumstances surrounding how this accident occurred are not entirely clear yet, but we do know that the ship’s safety system had been disabled before the accident, which left the electrician unprotected.

The cruise ship accident lawyers of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have experienced alongside their clients just how terrifying and traumatic certain cruise ship accidents can be.  While it is rare to see an electrician crushed in an elevator shaft on a cruise ship, such sudden and catastrophic events do occur.  When they do, injured individuals and their loved ones may have legal options available to them, depending on the specific facts of the case. Continue reading →

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Cruise ship accidents are no stranger to many South Florida residents, as cruises off the coast of Florida are an attraction for people from all over the world, and anytime a cruise ship accident occurs close to Florida, it will certainly be on the news.  However, South Florida residents may not be aware of some of the cruise ship accidents that happen from all over the world, involving both sea cruises, as well as river and lake cruises.

A cruise ship accident that you may not have heard about yet involved two elderly Americans who recently lost their lives in a cruise ship accident while on an Amazon River cruise.  These two individuals were taking a trip to a National Reserve in Peru.  The cruise ship had caught fire in the middle of the night, and the two Americans were unable to escape the cabin they were staying in.  The fact that the fire occurred at night may have made it more difficult for them to escape.  No other passengers were injured or killed as a result of this fire.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our cruise ship accident lawyers understand what it takes to thoroughly pursue a case on behalf of an injured individual or deceased loved one who suffered as a result of a cruise ship accident.  It takes dedication, resources, and experience to truly provide clients with the representation they need and deserve.  We have come across cases where fire has played a role in the injuries and deaths relating to some cruise ship accidents, and such cases can be difficult to handle without a strong attorney by your side. Continue reading →

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