Harmony-of-the-seas-golf-trip-fall-injury-202x300Our cruise passenger trip and fall injury attorneys have been retained by a woman who suffered a significant hand injury while aboard the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas cruise ship.  Our client was playing miniature golf when she tripped and fell over a raise on the course path which was obscured by poor lighting.  We are asking if any knows of other trip and falls on Royal Caribbean cruise ship’s miniature golf courses to better assist our client.  If you tripped, or witnessed a trip and fall, aboard the Harmony of the Seas or any Royal Caribbean ship’s mini golf course, please contact our law firm.

Pride-of-America-Conservatory-Slip-Fall-276x300Our Miami personal injury attorneys have been retained by a passenger who slipped and fell in the Conservatory aboard the NCL America’s Pride of America cruise ship and suffered significant damages.  In order to assist our client, we are searching for other people who slipped in the Conservatory aboard the Pride of America. The Pride of America was constructed in Mississippi for the purpose of building the first sizable American made passenger ship in decades. The original project failed and NCL purchased the unfinished cruise liner. NCL finished the build and launched it under its NCL America brand for Hawaiian service.  If you, or someone you know, have slipped in the Conservatory, please contact our firm.

Oasis-of-the-Seas-Boardwalk-Slip-Fall-300x300Our maritime personal injury law firm has been retained by a passenger who suffered severe injuries after slipping and falling on the Boardwalk aboard the Oasis of the Seas.  The incident occurred on March 5, 2017 after the show presented in the Aquatheater had ended.  In order to help our client, we are looking for other people who  slipped and fallen on the Oasis of the Seas’ boardwalk.  If you, or someone you know, slipped and fell on the Boardwalk aboard the Oasis of the Seas, please contact our firm.

Carinval-Fantasy-Loose-Carpeting-225x300Our cruise ship personal injury attorneys have been retained by a passenger who tripped on loose carpeting on an interior stairway aboard Carnival Fantasy. In order to further assist our client, we are searching for other people who either noticed loose carpeting or tripped on loose carpeting on the Carnival Fantasy’s stairways. If you, or someone you know, have any information on this topic, please contact our law firm.

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The Florida maritime and cruise injury and assault attorneys of Brais Law Firm have been retained to represent a female minor passenger in a claim against Holland America (“HAL”) who alleges she was violently sexually assaulted and raped on board Holland America’s Veendam cruise ship by a crew member on January 15, 2017. The Brais Law Firm, with the help of local Seattle counsel Charles Moure filed suit on behalf of the minor child on December 13, 2017. The brutal details of the sexual assault and rape are detailed in the Complaint.

The fifteen-year-old child, her grandmother and a cousin boarded the vessel on January 4, 2017 for a two-week cruise. During the cruise, the child and her family became acquainted with Gede Sukrantara, a twenty-six year old waiter from Bali, Indonesia who would often make small talk with the group when they would visit the Lido deck.

Throughout the cruise, the child participated in the CLUB HAL YOUTH PROGRAM, which is advertised by Holland America as its youth activities program, offering “an array of entertaining events for kids and teens ages 3-17, supervised by a full-time, professionally trained staff.”  Holland America represents that “safety is [its] primary concern and policies are in place for effective supervision.” Our client participated in the CLUB HAL YOUTH PROGRAM often under the supervision of the same female youth staff member.

During the cruise and prior to the sexual assault and rape, the child reported to a youth staff member, while in the presence of another Holland America crew member, that a Lido crew member was being flirtatious with her and inquiring about her age. The Complaint alleges that rather than report the crew member to supervisors or act to protect the minor child, who was obviously uncomfortable with the crew member’s behavior, the youth staff member told the child to tell the “flirtatious” crew member that she was 13 years-old. The minor child was told to understate her age in an apparent effort to dissuade the Holland American crew member from making further inappropriate advances and leave her alone.

According to the Complaint, the next night, on January 15, 2017, the child participated in a CLUB HAL YOUTH PROGRAM event. After the event ended, the child went to the Lido deck for a snack. While at the Lido deck, SUKRANTARA began to make small talk with the minor.  After some time, she left the Lido deck and headed to the Sky Deck. On her way to the Sky Deck, she stopped at a restroom designated for women located near the CLUB HAL area. Unbeknownst to her, SUKRANTARA followed her to the women’s restroom. As the restroom door was closing the HAL crew member pushed on the door and forced his way in, locking the door after him.  In the restroom, SUKRANTARA pushed the young girl against the wall. She yelled at him to get off her, to get out of the restroom and to leave her alone. SUKRANTARA refused and continued his assault.  SUKRANTARA then threatened to tell everyone that it was her idea and that she was “easy to get” if she did not stop yelling. SUKRANTARA then started to forcefully kiss the minor and touch her body under her clothing. The young locked up her body, refusing to allow SUKRANTARA to touch her private parts. SUKRANTARA removed his shirt as he pinned her against the wall. He then continued with his attempts to kiss her and rubbed his hands over her body. The child repeatedly told him to get off her, to stop and that she did not want to engage in any sexual activity with him. The Complaint alleges SUKRANTARA then asked her to take him to her stateroom. The minor refused again asking if she could leave. SUKRANTARA then tried to push her over the toilet in an attempt to vaginally penetrate her with his penis. The child yelled “no” and tried unsuccessfully to escape the restroom. SUKRANTARA once again pushed her against the wall and then tried to push her to the ground while she resisted. In the ensuing struggle, SUKRANTARA succeeded in positioning her in the corner of the restroom and while there forced her mouth open whereupon he inserted his penis inside her mouth.  The child attempted several times to get up but he kept pushing her down. After minutes, SUKRANTARA ejaculated into the child’s mouth and onto her face and clothing. Continue reading

https://news.braislaw.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/373/2017/07/Florida-Jet-Ski-Accident-Attorney.jpg.pngOur Florida Jet Ski accident attorneys handle many different types of personal watercraft injury cases. These cases range from negligently conducted Jet Ski tours to improper personal watercraft design. In this case, we represent a person who was injured while operating a Jet Ski in Biscayne Bay off Miami Beach. While our client was operating the Jet Ski, a yacht producing a large wake crossed in front of the personal watercraft. Our client’s Jet Ski struck the wake causing it to lurch up striking him in the face and shoulder. This accident caused significant personal injuries to his face, neck, arm and hand. He was taken to an area hospital and was admitted for three days.

After our client’s medical condition plateaued, our Florida Jet Ski accident attorneys filed a lawsuit against the yacht captain alleging a negligence count for unsafe boat operation and a negligence per se count for violating various navigational rules including failure to keep a lookout and maintain a safe speed. Negligence and negligence per se are different legal theories. To prove a negligence claim, the injured Jet Ski victim must show that the yacht captain acted in a way that a reasonably prudent captain would not have acted and such negligent acts were the cause of the Jet Ski accident. To prove a negligence per se claim, the Jet Ski victim must prove that the yacht captain violated a safety statute designed to protect the Jet Ski victim from harm. A negligence per se claim based upon failing to comply with a safety statute under maritime law, if proven, carries the presumption that the violator is a fault for the jet ski accident. This presumption is only rebutted by showing that the violation could not have been a cause of the Jet Ski accident. This is an extremely hard presumption to overcome.

The yacht captain filed a motion to dismiss the negligence per se claim arguing that it should have been commingled within the negligence count. The Court held in our favor finding that different legal elements must be proven to establish a negligence per se claim than that of a simple negligence claim. Based upon the legal finding, the Court held that it was proper to allege the two theories of liability in different counts and denied the yacht captain’s motion to dismiss.

Florida-Personal-Watercraft-Injury-ReleaseOur Florida personal watercraft injury lawyers were recently successful in convincing a court that a release was legally insufficient and, therefore, unenforceable.

Facts of the Case

Our client and her boyfriend were staying at the Hawk’s Cay Resort located on Duck Key in the Florida Keys.  During their stay, the couple wanted to rent a motor boat and go to one of the mangrove islands to have a romantic picnic. The resort has a marina and an on-site boat rental building. The person at the rental window told the couple that he would not rent them the motor boat due to their inexperience calling them “landlubbers” and suggested they rent canoes at the nearby Long Key Florida State Park.  The couple decided to go back to their room to figure out the location of the State Park that rents canoes.  Given the late hour of the day, they thought it was too late to rent the canoes and instead decided to “do the Jet Ski thing.” The boyfriend called the rental window to see if they could rent personal watercrafts and was told to come down right away.  They went back to the rental window, paid to participate in a guided tour and were given an activity release to sign.  They signed the release and began the tour.  The tour guide lead the couple under the Toms Harbor Cut Bridges to the Gulf of Mexico side of U.S. 1, around a mangrove island and then towards the Toms Harbor Channel Bridges just west of the Toms Harbor Cut Bridges. There are two bridges at Toms Harbor Channel.  One with vertical supports providing a wide passageway (newer bridge).  The second bridge is made up of arch supports providing a much narrower passageway (older bridge).   Before going under the Toms Harbor Channel Bridges and moments before the accident, the tour guide instructed the couple to follow him and to go fast.   While following the tour guide as instructed, our client lost control of the personal watercraft and collided with a concrete arch of the second Toms Harbor Channel Bridge.  The impact caused our client to suffer sever physical as well as a traumatic brain injury.

lifeguard-20343192-300x200Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean announced its implementation of a new water safety program fleet wide starting with Oasis of the Seas.  The program includes stationing of lifeguards trained by StarGuard Elite at every pool including Solarium, the adult-only area.  RCL will also offer a 15-minute water safety presentation during the embarkation-day open house session for its youth program, Adventure Ocean.

Additionally, the new program will include the introduction of water safety instruction signs throughout the ships, which include signage around pool areas and cabins encouraging parents to use the life jackets made available to children ages 4-12 since late 2015.

Amid mounting pressure, Norwegian Cruise Line announced last week its decision to hire lifeguards to its four largest ships—Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic by summer, 2017.  Norwegian expects to add lifeguards fleetwide by March, 2018.

The Florida personal watercraft accident attorneys of Brais Law Firm have recently brought a lawsuit against a Miami area rental and tour company for negligent conduction of a WaveRunner Tour.  The facts surrounding this case involved a couple from New Jersey vacationing in South Florida.  They decided to take a Biscayne Bay personal watercraft tour and purchased such a tour from one of the many companies operating at the Bayside Marina.  After paying for the tour, the couple were directed the WaveRunners to start the guided tour.   Once on the water, it became apparent that the weather was deteriorating and the waves began to become larger and larger.  Though the bay waters were turning rough, the tour guide not only kept taking the couple out farther but started to separate himself from the couple riding behind.  In fear of getting left behind, the couple attempted to catch up to their tour guide.  While attempting to catch up, the WaveRunner struck a wave causing the wife to separate from the craft then slam back down on it.

The impact resulted in a fractured patella and torn meniscus.  The patella, more commonly known as the knee cap, is the triangular bone which protect the surface of the knee joint.  A meniscus is a piece of cartilage that cushions the knee which prevents the femur and tibia from rubbing against each other.  The wife underwent surgery for her injuries.

Court papers assert that the guide failed to provide the statutory required instruction before beginning the tour and failed to conduct the tour in a reasonably safe manner.  Under maritime law, a company that provides personal watercraft tours must follow statutory requirements including specific safety briefings before allowing their customers on the water.  Furthermore, the tour operator must provide a tour which is reasonably safe.  The lawsuit claims that the tour guide’s decision to take the couple in exposed waters of Biscayne Bay during rough weather coupled with the fact that he separated from the group fell below minimum legal standards.  The case is currently pending before the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Finger-Injury-LawOur Miami personal injury attorneys are currently representing a college student who was severely injured when a kinetic horse sculpture’s head rotated down on his right middle finger pitching it between the sculpture’s head and neck.  On April 4, 2014, our client, his mother and cousin was visiting the Kenneth Meyers Park located in the Coconut Grove section of Miami.  It was the first time they visited the park.  Near the front of the park stood two brightly colored animal sculptures created by Fredrick Prescott.  One was of a giraffe and the other the horse.  Our client’s cousin, who is fond of giraffes, wanted to get closer have her photo taken with the sculpture.  Since there were no signs stating not to touch the sculptures or any barrier erected around the sculptures, the family thought it was safe to touch the sculptures who having their pictures taken.  While the cousin was interacting with the giraffe, our client’s mother suggested that he imitate petting the horse for a photograph.  As our client reached up and placed his hand on the bottom of the horse’s head, the head swung down pinching his middle finger against the horse’s neck.  The scissoring action of the horse’s head with the neck severed a portion of the young man’s right middle finger.

It was later discovered that the two animals were kinetic sculptures whose heads were designed to sway in the wind.  Unfortunately, on the day of the incident, there was no wind and the heads remained static until our client touched the underside of the horse’s head.  Given there was no warning signs or barriers, the family was unaware that the heads of the sculptures moved.

Our law firm brought a lawsuit against artist who designed and assembled the sculpture alleging he was negligent for failing to incorporate finger guards or at least providing labels on the sculptures warning people that parts move and to not touch the sculptures.  We also brought a lawsuit against the City of Miami alleging it was negligent for failing to place warning signs or barriers to access so that a reasonable person would know not to touch the sculpture.  The artist and City responded to the lawsuit denying their negligence and asserting, among other things, that they should not be held liable because the hazard was open and obvious.

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