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Biscayne BayA boating accident nearly claims the life of a South Florida man on Father’s Day. Jonathan Cruz, a father of 3-year-old twins, was attempting to help another person whose boat was stuck on a sandbar near Elliot Key.  Cruz was in the water pushing the boat when someone started the engine by mistake.  The engine propellers sliced into Cruz, breaking several bones and damaging his colon and spine.

An off-duty firefighter who was at the scene put Cruz on an IV and applied a tourniquet while a helicopter was in route to airlift Cruz to Jackson Memorial Hospital.  Cruz has undergone extensive surgeries and doctors have told relatives it is too early to say whether Cruz will be able to walk again.

An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is underway.

Silversea-Cruise-Injury-252x300Our cruise tender boat injury lawyers have been retained to represent a Silversea Cruises passenger who was injured while tendering from a Zodiac onto the floating platform along the Silversea Cruises’ SILVER EXPLORER cruise ship during rough conditions at the Puerto Montt harbor in Chile.  We are aware of other passengers that day who were also injured while exiting the Zodiac tenders and we would like to talk with these passengers so we could better assist our client.  Cruise lines such as Silversea owes their passengers the legal duty to exercise reasonable care when conducting tendering operations.  This duty may include positioning the cruise ship so that the tendering could be conducted on the ship’s lee, utilizing additional mooring lines so that the tender could be made fast to the receiving platform and even suspending operations until the weather conditions are more suitable.  If you have any information about the SILVER EXPLORER’s November 11, 2017 tendering operations at Puerto Montt harbor, we as that you please contact us.

Sukrantara-240x300Holland America crewmember Gede Sukrantara pled guilty to a January 18, 2017 sexual assault of a 15-year-old passenger during a cruise.  The victim and her grandmother were on a Caribbean cruise vacation aboard the Holland America VEENDAM cruise ship when Sukrantara followed the minor into a public restroom wherein he forced her to preform sexual acts. Sukrantara was serving as a waiter aboard the cruise ship at the time of the incident. Sukrantara was arrested when the cruise ship returned to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Judge Elizabeth Scherer of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward-County, Florida sentenced Sukrantara to seven years imprisonment followed by seven years probation wherein he must register as a sex offender.

The minor, represented by Brais Law Firm has brought a civil lawsuit against Holland America in Federal Court. Under maritime law, cruise lines are strictly liable for the intentional torts of their crewmembers. The complaint alleges claims under maritime common law as well as civil remedies under the federal Sexual Exploitation of Children Act which applies to sexual assaults and rapes to minors occurring aboard cruise ships on the high seas.

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.


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 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.

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