An injured passenger from California has retained our Miami cruise accident attorneys to bring a lawsuit against NCL. A complaint filed in federal court alleges that NCL was negligent in the way it organized and conducted its White Hot Party aboard the Norwegian Perl cruise ship. The White Hot Party is an event planned on nearly every NCL cruise. The event focuses on games, competitions and dancing. Court papers reveal that the passenger was encouraged by the crew to participate in a game where she was told to sit on a large balloon in the middle of the dance floor. It is alleged that the crew selected an area of the dance floor where there was no matting or cushioning. Unfortunately, the balloon popped sending our client to the hard ground. She hit the deck with such force that her Coccyx and Sacrum were fractured. If you were injured, or know anyone who was injured, during the balloon game at an NCL White Hot Party, we like to speak with you in order to serve our client.
Our cruise injury lawyers have been retained to assist an injured Texas passenger in a claim against a cruise line. In a lawsuit filed in Federal Court, the passenger alleges he was injured when he slipped and fell on the lido deck. The slip and fall resulted in an alleged shoulder injury. Cruise lines are obligated under the law to provide a reasonably safe cruise ship for their passengers. This does not only mean cleaning transitory dangerous conditions like water or food from the deck, but also maintaining the deck’s anti-skid properties so a passenger could be reasonably safe when walking across a wet deck. It is our experience that cruise ship decks, especially decks that receive heavy foot traffic like lido decks, are often times worn from use. The complaint alleges the cruise line fell below the reasonably safe standard for maintaining its decks. If you, or if you know of anyone who, slipped on a lido deck, we would like to talk to you so we could better assist our client.
A new federal law passed earlier this month that requires the Department of Transportation to report crimes allegedly committed onboard a cruise ship. The new law is quite a departure from its predecessor, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (hereinafter “Act”), which only made incident data available if the alleged crime was “no longer under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Opponents of the law maintain it is not necessary, arguing that the major cruise lines began providing crime data on their respective websites in 2013. However, it is important to note that the data provided on these websites cannot be relied on as a representative figure insofar as the total number of crimes that occur aboard cruise vessels. Specifically, the major cruise lines only report incidents that meet the requirements of the Cruise Vessel and Safety Act, which limit reporting to incidents involving “homicide, suspicious death, a missing United States national, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury … firing or tampering with the vessel, or theft of money or property in excess of $10,000.” Thus, if a crew member stole something from a passenger not in excess of $10,000, then the cruise lines were not required to publicly disclose it. The above may be characterized as an illustration of the lobby efforts by the Cruise Lines to modify the Act in a way that only certain crimes require disclosure.
A 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.
The 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.
The 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.
The 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.
A 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.
The 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.
An 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.