BBR has been retained by a seafarer who was injured while working as a sous chef aboard the mega yacht Solemates. The seafarer alleges in a Florida lawsuit that she was ordered to lift an overhead hatch that was damaged and ill maintained. Given its condition, the hatch required an extraordinary amount of force to lift. While attempting to open the hatch open as ordered, the seafarer sustained a significant personal injuries including a C5/6 left posterolateral disc herniation causing compression on the left spinal court and posterior displacement of the left C7 nerve root. The complaint alleges that her employer was negligent, among other reasons, for failing to maintain or replace the hatch and that the Solemate was unseaworthy giving the poor condition of the hatch she was ordered to open. The Complaint also seeks damages for her employer’s continued failure to pay for her medical care and treatment as required under the law.
Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers has selected our managing partner Keith Brais as a 2016 inductee into Super Lawyers. This distinct honor is enjoyed by less than 5 percent of all attorneys. What is particularly impressive is that Keith has achieved this impressive credential for eight consecutive years. The objective of Super Lawyers “is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.” In selecting attorneys for Super Lawyer, a rigorous multiphase process is utilized. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis.
Besides being named a Super Lawyer, Keith has been a Florida Board Certified Admiralty and Maritime attorney since 1996, AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell for several years, a repeat inductee into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Society (achieved by < 1% of all attorneys) and most recently selected by Florida Trend's magazine as a Legal Elite.
Keith's principal practice areas include catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death claims involving cruise ship passengers, crewmembers, yacht guests & crew, resort vacationers and hotel guests with an emphasis in the fields of premises liability, negligent security and products liability. If you have been injured and would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact Keith or the other attorneys at Brais Brais Rusak.
The cruise passenger injury lawyers of BBRC have been retained to represent a Louisiana woman who fell due to an unreasonably slippery deck aboard the Carnival Elation cruise ship. The slip and fall occurred on the ship’s Lido deck. The accident, unfortunately, resulted in a rotator cuff tear requiring surgery.
Representing several cruise passengers throughout the years, we at BBRC have noticed several slip and falls on the Lido decks within Carnival’s fleet. We believe the reason for these accidents is simple. Carnival Cruise Lines just does not properly maintain the non-skid properties of these decks. When the decks are first laid down, they may be reasonably safe. But after cruise upon cruise that sees thousands of people walking on the decks daily, these safety features break down leaving the decks smooth and slippery. This, combined with the inherent wetness from people leaving the nearby pools, is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, the paying passenger suffers from Carnival’s negligence.
If you suffered a slip and fall on the Elation or any other Carnival cruise ship Lido deck and would like to learn more about your rights, feel free to contact our multiple Maritime Board Certified Attorneys for a free consultation. Remember, Carnival’s cruise ticket requires you to provide special written notice of your claim within six months of your accident and requires you to bring a lawsuit in Miami Federal Court within one year. We at BBRC will be happy to walk you through your options and provide you with an honest and straightforward evaluation of your claim. You can contact us by clicking our on-line cruise injury intake form or calling us toll free at (800) 499-0551.
A 29-year-old passenger is in ta Charleston, South Carolina hospital after being airlifted off the Disney Magic cruise ship last Saturday. Reports state that in the early morning hours the cruise ship requested assistance from the Coast Guard when one of its passengers sustained injuries to his leg and hip. A Coast Guard MH-60 Dolphin helicopter crew randevued with the Disney Magic 45 miles off the South Carolina coast and airlifted the injured passenger to a hospital in Charleston where he received further treatment. No information has been releases as to how the passenger sustained his injuries. The man is said to be in stable condition.
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.