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.
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.
Our Miami personal injury attorneys often review court decisions that illustrate important legal issues or new developments in the law that have a potential impact on our clients. However, sometimes we call attention to court decisions because of the disturbing nature of the outcome. This blog post serves as a cautionary tale regarding the importance of having exemplary legal representation because the analysis of a judge or court can be unanticipated, so you need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer.
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.
While it may seem trivial, our Miami wrongful death attorneys understand that a crucial part of any personal injury suit is ensuring that claims are filed before the applicable statute of limitations expires. Every cause of action has a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that the law provides claimants for filing suit in court after the negligent act took place that caused injury. If a party fails to file a claim within the statute of limitations period, the result will often be the court's dismissal of the claim outright as untimely. While there may be certain circumstances that will keep a claim alive as the case below illustrates, it is crucial that plaintiffs preserve their rights by observing the statute of limitations and pursuing claims in a timely fashion.
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.
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.
Truck accidents claim the lives of about 4,000 people each year, and Florida is home to many of these truck accident fatalities. Commercial trucks often weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. When these vehicles collide with a car, the results can be catastrophic. When the driver or passenger in an automobile is killed due to the negligent actions of the truck driver or his or her employer, the death will generally be considered a "wrongful death." Though the loss of a loved one is difficult no matter the circumstances, wrongful deaths make the loss all the more hard.
Recently, a passenger aboard a Disney cruise apparently drowned while swimming at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. According to news reports, the 38-year old man from New York was a passenger aboard the Disney Wonder. The ship was moored at Castaway Cay as part of the five night cruise to the Bahamas that departed from Miami. Disney's private island is located in the northern Bahamas. Thus far, the details of the drowning have not been released. An autopsy is being performed on the victim to confirm the suspected manner of death.
On July 5, 2005, George Smith IV vanished from aboard his honeymoon cruise in the Aegean Sea. His body was never recovered. Despite what authorities have said, his mother, Maureen Smith, remains certain her son's death was not an accident. Maureen Smith recently appeared on CBS News' 48 Hours, stating to the public that there is no doubt in her mind that her son was murdered on the cruise ship. Now, in a renewed effort to solve the nine year old case, the family of George Smith IV is offering a $100,000 reward for any information leading directly to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for their son's disappearance and presumed death.