Maritime & Boating Accident
Lawyer News

January 25, 2015

Court Allows Punitive Damages Claim against NCL & NCL America in a Personal Injury Case


Miami Florida Court.jpgA Miami-Dade court this week has allowed Brais, Brais & Rusak's client to bring a punitive damages claim against NCL and NCL America. In this case, our client suffered significant cervical and neurological injuries when she fell after being ordered to secure lounge chairs in near hurricane force winds.

Under maritime law, ship owners and seafarers' employers are required to provide seamen in their service with medical benefits for injuries manifesting during the course of employment. During the time the seamen are recuperating from their injuries, they are also entitled to be provided a stipend for daily living expenses. This is commonly referred to as the duty to provide maintenance and cure. Ship owners and employers, however, sometimes fail in their duty to provide such benefits. Fortunately, the law provides penalties for the inappropriate failure to provide medical treatment to injured seamen.

Florida's Third District Court of Appeal in NCL v. Zareno explains there is a three-tiered escalating scale of damages that may be assessed against ship owners and employers who fail to provide injured seamen with maintenance and cure benefits. The first category is known as the "reasonably denied" situation. Here, if the benefits were in fact owed, but reasonably denied, the ship owner and/or employer may only be held liable for the amount of maintenance and cure that was due and owing. The second category is the "unreasonably denied" situation. Here, if the benefits were unreasonably denied, meaning they refused to pay the benefits without a reasonable defense, the ship owner or employer becomes liable for not only the maintenance and cure due and owing, but also, compensatory damages. These compensatory damages are generally the pain and suffering the seaman endured because of the delay in providing benefits. The third category is the "callous indifference" situation. Here, if the denial of benefits is not only unreasonable, but the ship owner or employer has exhibited callousness and indifference to the seaman's plight, they become liable for punitive damages and attorney fees.

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January 18, 2015

Injured Minnesota Cruise Passenger Hires BBR Law Firm


Minnesota Cruise Injury Lawyer.pngThe cruise injury law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Curies for injuries sustained on a tour excursion. The Complaint filed in Federal Court alleges a Minnesota couple decided to take an East Asian cruise aboard the Mariner of the Seas in January of last year. As part of their vacation, they purchased an "Island Hopping" excursion to occur in Langkawi, Malaysia from Royal Caribbean.

On January 18, 2014, the couple reported to the Island Hopping excursion area which was within shouting distance of the cruise ship. They were directed onto a small boat which seated 10 people. The tour boat left the cruise pier and started across the bay. Upon leaving the sheltered harbor, it became obvious that the weather conditions in the bay were very poor for such a boat ride. The wind was blowing 20-30 kts and the wave height in the bay was in excess of three feet. It was a very rough and dangerous ride.

Leaving Wet Rice Island, matters got worse. The couple was one of the first people to get on the tour boat to return to the cruise ship pier. Once they got on the boat, the tour operator kept loading more and more people. Though the boat only seated 10, before setting out, the tour operator overloaded the boat with 13 people. All passengers on the tour boat were passengers from the Mariner of the Seas. Given it was a Malaysian holiday, there was no other way for the the couple to return from Wet Rice Island to the cruise ship. As such, they were forced to ride back on the overloaded tour boat.

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December 30, 2014

Injured Viking River Cruise Passenger Retains Brais, Brais & Rusak Law Firm


Texas Cruise Injury Lawyer.gifThe cruise injury law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak has been retained to represent a Texas woman who was injured while on a Viking river cruise. The incident occurred when a rope was not properly secured causing the woman to trip and fall. This accident resulted in our client fracturing her arm near the elbow and fracturing her tooth.

Cruise lines are charged with the legal duty of exercising reasonable care for their passengers' safety. This includes placing warning cones and even cordoning office areas of the ship that pose unreasonable tripping hazards. When a passenger is hurt when a cruise lines fails to exercise reasonable care, that injured passenger is often times entitled to compensation for pain, disfigurement, medical expenses and lost wages.

Viking Cruises is headquartered in California and operates several river cruises throughout Europe, Asia and Egypt. The company specializes in river cruising. Though only formed in 1997, Viking has over 60 cruise ships.

October 21, 2014

Bucking Problems with the Yamaha Waverunner FZS


Florida Boat Accident Lawyer.gifThe maritime lawyers were retained by a Palmetto Bay, Florida woman who suffered a severe fracture to her ankle after being ejected from a Yamaha Waverunner FZS. It has been wildly reported that the FZS model Waverunner has problems with "bucking" sending riders flying from the personal watercraft. This problem occurs in any type of weather conditions. In this case, the water was claim and the Waverunner FZS was being operated in a straight line. This problem is thought to be caused by a improper designed intake grate. If you or someone you known was bucked off a Waverunner FZS, we like to speak with you. You may reach us toll free at (800) 499-0551.

October 20, 2014

Cruise Trip and Fall Victim Hires BBR Lawyers


Florida Cruise Accident Lawyer.gifA Florida man who was injured while vacationing aboard a luxury liner has retained BBR's lawyers to bring a claim against a Miami based cruise line. The Florida passenger tripped over a vacuum cord that a cabin steward negligent slung at ankle height across a corridor. From this accident, BBR's client fractured his patella requiring extensive medical care. Cruise lines owe passengers the duty of providing a reasonably safe cruise ship. It is claimed that cruise line breached this duty when an employee caused a tripping hazard by slinging a vacuum cord across the hallway and not simply plugging the vacuum in the stateroom he was cleaning at the time.

August 25, 2014

BBR Retained to Help Injured Ft. Lauderdale Yacht Crew Member


Fort Lauderdale.gifThe Florida Board Certified maritime lawyers of BBR have been retained to represent a crew member who became injured while working aboard a yacht docked in Ft. Lauderdale. In this case, a deck hand suffered serious back injury when ordered to lift a heavy gangway by himself in violation of the yacht's own policy of having two people lift the gangway. Florida is the winter yacht capital of the world. Many crew members from these yachts are unaware that they may be protected by the very liberal maritime law which requires their employers to pay for medical bills, living expenses while they are recuperating from their injuries and provide damages in the form of pain and suffering as well as lost wages.

August 13, 2014

Injured Arkansas Cruise Passenger Retains BBR Lawyers


Arkansas Cruise Injury Lawyer.pngAn Arkansas passenger who took a cruise aboard the Carnival Sunshine retained our lawyers after slipping on the Lido Deck. This particular cruise ship is known to our lawyers as having issues with its exterior decks. In this case, the passenger was walking across the Lido Deck on when she slipped and fell. The accident resulted in a fractured ankle. Cruise lines such a Carnival are obligated under maritime law to provide passengers with a ship that is reasonably safe. It is BBR's position that a ship known to have many slip and fall incidents cannot be found reasonably safe. This case is currently pending before a Florida federal court.

July 9, 2014

Biscayne Bay Boat Accident Victim Retains Brais, Brais & Rusak


Miami Boat Injury Lawyer.gifOur law firm has been retained by a deckhand who was injured while working aboard a recreational boat on Biscayne Bay. Court papers allege our client was cleaning up after a party when the owner of the boat collided with a piling located near the mouth of the Miami River. The collision caused our client to be thrown into the closed salon door resulting in a permanent and debilitating knee injury. Under maritime law, an employer is required to provide workers a reasonable safe and seaworthy boat to work upon. The complaint alleges the legal duty was breached by the actions of the boat owner. This lawsuit is currently pending before the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida.

June 18, 2014

Solstice Crew Member Sues Celebrity Cruises for Back Injury


India Cruise Injury Attorney.pngThe cruise attorneys of Brais, Brais & Rusak have brought suit against Celebrity Cruises for their negligence in causing a significant back injury to an Indian crew member who worked as a pastry chef aboard the Celebrity Solstice. The Complaint filed in Miami alleges Celebrity routinely would keep work areas within the pastry shop cluttered with garbage. When our client was carrying heavy metal baking trays through the wash area to the food preparation area, he slipped on the garbage. The weight of the trays combined with the manner by which he slipped caused multiple lumbar disk herniations requiring surgery. It should be noted that as a condition of working aboard the Celebrity Solstice, our client was examined and given a physical by a doctor selected by Celebrity. The Celebrity doctor issued a report finding no back or spinal problems.

May 24, 2014

Carnival Cruise Sexual Assault Victim Retains Brais, Brais & Rusak


Texas Cruise Injury Lawyer.jpgThe cruise attorneys of Brais, Brais & Rusak have been retained by a Texas woman who was sexually assaulted in a ladies restroom aboard the Carnival Magic. At approximately 1:30 am on May 3rd, 2014, the victim was sexually assaulted by an unknown female in the ladies room near the ship's piano lounge. If you witnessed the attack or have information about this incident, please contact our law firm so we could better assist the victim.

May 16, 2014

Carnival Sunshine Passenger Hires Brais, Brais & Rusak for Slip and Fall Accident


Florida Cruise Accident Lawyer.gifWe have previously reported that Carnival Cruise's "new" ship the Sunshine has a big problem with unreasonably slippery exterior decks. Our law firm has recently been hired to represent passenger who slipped and fallen on this Port Canaveral based cruise ship. In this case, the passenger fell on the Lido or pool deck. Despite the cruise line's marketing, the Sunshine is not a new ship. In fact, it was originally launched in 1995 as the Density. The ship was re-launched in May 2013 and renamed the Sunshine. It is noteworthy that it is not often a ship that was just dry-docked to have so many slip and falls. This makes one wonder if the decking surface was improperly installed.

April 4, 2014

Clearwater Florida Passenger Injured Aboard the NCL Norwegian Dawn Hires Brais, Brais & Rusak


Florida Cruise Accident Lawyer.gifThe Miami, Florida law office of Brais, Brais & Rusak has been retained by a passenger who sustained significant fractures to his wrist and knee during a cruise aboard the NCL Norwegian Dawn. Our client was enjoying his cruise up to the point where he tripped and fell over a vacuum cord which was negligently slung across the hallway by a cabin steward. Because the color of the cord matched the color scheme of the cruise ship's carpeting, our client was unable to see the hazard. Cabin stewards slinging cords across the corridors of cruise ships, though improper, is quite common. One reason why this occurs is because cabin stewards are responsible for cleaning several cabins and must perform their job in a very short time frame. This leads to shortcuts such as plugging the cord in one cabin and walking the machine across the hall to the other cabins without stopping to unplug the cord. Cruise lines, just as hotels, are responsible for their employees' negligence conducted in the course and scope of their employment. If you have witnessed the practice of slinging extension cords across the hallways or corridors of the NCL Norwegian Dawn, please contact us so we may better assist our clients.

March 26, 2014

Cruise Rape Victim Retains Brais, Brais & Rusak


Florida Cruise Injury Lawyer.gifThe Miami cruise lawyers of Brais, Brais & Rusak have been retained by a victim who was raped by a crew member aboard the Bahamas Celebration cruise ship. Maritime law is clear that a cruise lines are strictly liable for the criminal actions of their crew members against passengers. Our Florida Board Certified maritime lawyers are well versed in representing victims of crime perpetrated on cruise ships. If you know of an incident of sexual assault or rape occurring on the Bahamas Celebration, we like to hear from you. Information you have may be very helpful in our investigation.

February 24, 2014

Passenger Injured aboard Carnival Inspiration after Falling from Bunk Bed


California Cruise Injury Attorney .gifThe cruise injury lawyers of Brais, Brais & Rusak have been retained by a California man who sustained a significant spinal cord injury and lacerations above his left eye after falling from his stateroom's bunk bed aboard the Carnival Inspiration. Cruise lines such as Carnival have the duty to reasonably protect their passengers from danger. In this case, it is alleged that Carnival failed to satisfy its duty as the bunk bed rails were too short for the average adult. Our firm's investigation has led us to learn there were other similar accidents aboard the Inspiration in the months before our client's injury. If you, or someone you know, fell while sleeping on a Carnival cruise ship bunk bed, we would like to learn more about your experience. Any information you have, will assist in our representation of our client.

January 22, 2014

Injured Pilot Brings Claim against Silversea Cruises


Mexican Cruise Attorney.jpgA Mexican pilot has retained the injury lawyers of Brais, Brais & Rusak to represent him in a lawsuit against luxury cruise company Silversea. While attempting to gain access to the Silver Spirit, the Jacob's Ladder lowered by the cruise ship collapsed causing the pilot to fall off the ship. The incident resulted in multiple fractures and a punctured lung. Cruise lines owe pilots the legal duty to provide a reasonably safe means to enter the ship and to properly secure ladders. In a lawsuit filed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the pilot alleges Silversea breached its legal duty to him and that negligence caused his injuries.