Cruise Ship Accident: Report Shows that Cruise Line Was Responsible for Couple’s Death

Wrongful Death Cruise Ship Accidents The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was passed into law in the 1920s to provide a way for sailors’ wives to collect the earnings of their deceased husbands after a death at sea. At the time it was the only mechanism for those women to receive compensation for their spouses’ deaths, yet it still strictly limits recovery to wages, and excludes any compensation for emotional distress or pain and suffering. What does this antiquated law have to do with the modern cruise industry? A great deal, as is exemplified by the case of Larry and Christy Hammer. Circumstances of the Hammers’ Deaths A retired couple from Nebraska, the Hammers booked a cruise down the Peruvian Amazon through the U.S.-based company International Expeditions. As often happens, International Expeditions engaged a local Peruvian company that owned, operated, and managed a 31-passenger ship in Peru to cruise the Hammers safely down the famous river. However, their voyage did not end safely. A fire broke out in the Hammers’ cabin, and because of the lack of fire-resistant mattresses, inoperable fire detectors, an inability to follow protocols, and ineffective and untrained crew, the Hammers tragically died. A report released last week determined that the Peruvian company operating La Estrella Amazonica was unequivocally responsible for the couple’s deaths. The Peruvian Navy stated that there was gross negligence on the part of the company. However, for the Hammers’ daughters and other loved ones, this report may not make much difference. Where DOHSA Meets the Cruise Industry A cruise ship accident that occurs on international waters, as well as rivers...

Royal Caribbean’s New Ship is the Largest in the world

In 2014 Royal Caribbean International, a Miami, Florida-based cruise line, became the largest cruise line in the world in terms of passenger capacity. Since then, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has carried more people on holiday voyages than any other cruise company, and everything indicates that they have no intention to slow down. By the end of 2014, Royal Caribbean could provide cruise accommodation to 64,150 on its 22 ships, but by mid-2016 Royal Caribbean had capacity for 77,950 passengers. The growth came from adding three mega-ships to its fleet in the intervening period. More is on the horizon for Royal Caribbean. The company announced that in April 2018, the Symphony of the Seas will make its maiden voyage as the largest cruise ship in the world. Latest Mega-ship from Royal Caribbean While Royal Caribbean’s new ship is still being constructed in France, the Symphony of the Seas will boast numerous impressive features and statistics. The ship will measure 1,188 feet in length, with 18 decks and 24 guest elevators to access each level. It will be able to accommodate 5,494 guests on a single voyage within its 2,775 rooms. The ship will host the largest waterslide on the ocean, measuring 100 feet in height, and the vessel will be staffed by 2,175 crew members. In addition to all these record-breaking numbers, Symphony of the Seas will incorporate the latest in technology, including robotic bartenders, new routes and destinations for Royal Caribbean, all featuring the cruise line’s now famous layout of distinct “neighborhoods.” All these features and the associated machinery mean Symphony of the Seas will weigh 230,000 GT (gross...

Spring Break Cruise Accident: Seeking Legal Help After a Vacation Nightmare

Every year college students around the United States look forward to the arrival of warmer weather, the wrapping up of the school year, and spring break. By April, college students are ready for a little relaxation in a tropical destination. Over the years, cruises have become extremely popular spring break trips, but as with all spring break destinations, laidback time aboard a cruise ship does not come without some risks. The accidents and injuries that often occur on cruise ships become even more common, as the combination of college students, crowded ships, and drinking heightens the potential for a spring break cruise accident. However, these accidents are not always the fault of rambunctious college students; in many instances the cruise company should have made better repairs, imposed standards, or provided resources to avoid injuries. Dangers of Cruising and Heavy Drinking For most college students, a robust social life will include some level of alcohol consumption and partying. For certain college students, their social lives and college experience are ruled by heavy binge drinking. In fact, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a governmental agency, estimates that nearly 40% of college students, or two in every five students, has engaged in binge drinking in the past two weeks. All this drinking is only exacerbated on spring break cruises. The decision to consume copious amounts of alcohol is an individual choice, but the policy to serve this alcohol is altogether different. The bartenders and other employees on cruise ships have a duty of care to the passengers they serve, and that duty includes regulating the amount of alcohol consumed...

Suing Cruise Ship Medical Centers for Medical Malpractice

Suing cruise ship medical centers for medical malpractice is a complex legal process. I have represented hundreds of people who have suffered serious accidents while on cruise ships, and I have investigated the medical care many of them received in the ships’ medical centers. Based on those investigations, I can tell you this: You do not want to get seriously ill or have a bad accident while on a cruise ship.   While cruise lines flaunt their new state-of-the-art attractions–like artificial surf machines and robotic bartenders–the medical care on cruise ships can often be medieval. I have frequently found that doctors and nurses on cruise ships make common medical mistakes, such as failing to diagnose and treat routine dislocations and fractures. I have seen dozens of cases where the passengers were told they were fine, and dismissed with an Advil and a pat on the back, only to learn once they returned home that they had broken an arm, leg, or wrist. Sometimes, the delay in properly diagnosing and treating the injury can have significant consequences. Frequently the doctors and nurses on the cruise ships speak little English, or speak with such a heavy accent that they are difficult to understand. I cannot remember ever having taken the deposition of a cruise ship doctor who was licensed to practice in the United States or educated at a U.S. Medical School. Instead, cruise lines often employ doctors and nurses from Mexico, Colombia, or the Philippines.    The American College of Emergency Medicine offers specific guidelines on how cruise ship medical centers are supposed to run and the level of care...

Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Reviews Celebrity Cruise Lines Newest Luxury Ship “Edge”

Celebrity Cruise Lines have announced their newest line of luxury cruise ships, featuring sleek design and edge-of-the-ocean balconies, appropriately named Edge. The Edge line is the first new class added by the cruise line in almost 10 years, its prior new class being the Celebrity Solstice. The new line and cruise ship, also named Edge, has already received high praise from critics for its world-class design by award-winning interior designer, Nate Berkus. The cruise line has appointed Berkus as the Edge’s design ambassador, and in that role, he will host a series of Edge Class reveal events this month. The ship’s first big reveal took place at the company’s Innovation Laboratory in Miami, FL, hosted by CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and the Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Richard D. Fain. Design of the new cruise ships took into careful consideration what cruise passengers were looking for in a comfortable cruise experience and brought it to life with larger staterooms and bathrooms, as well as larger living spaces, and structural design to make guests feel closer to the sea. Some of the ship’s exciting new features include the “Magic Carpet” deck on Deck 2, which serves as an embarkation station where guests arrive on and leave the ship. The size of a tennis court, this floating deck moves vertically along the side of the ship, much like a giant elevator. Swooshing up to Deck 5, the Magic Carpet is an extension of one of the ship’s restaurants, hanging off the side of the vessel. On Deck 14, the Magic Carpet is an open extension of the ship’s pool...

Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer’s Discusses What’s in Store For the Cruising Industry

I recently had the privilege of attending the Seatrade 2017 Expo at Port Everglades in South Florida. The world’s premier convention for the cruise industry, Seatrade draws the major cruise lines’ CEOs, port of call representatives, and vendors who service the cruise industry in everything from deck flooring to uniforms. By far the biggest and most exciting topic at Seatrade 2017 is the exploding growth of the cruise industry in Asia. Southeast Asia seeks to become one of the world’s primary cruise destinations, eclipsing both Europe and the Caribbean. For some perspective, Southeast Asia has more than 25,000 islands, compared with the Caribbean’s 7,000 or so and some 6,000 in Greece–only 227 of which are inhabited. Currently, some of the most popular ports in Asia are Langkawi, Phuket, Halong Bay, and Bali. Ports in both China and India continue to grow as must-visit cruise ship destinations, spurred by the growing demand from Southeast Asia’s increasingly affluent middle class. Many commentators predict that China’s middle class will more than double to 400 million by the end of this decade. With more ships and more ports, those potential passengers will no longer need to fly to Miami or Barcelona to enjoy a cruise. According to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), Asia will become the second largest cruise region–with more than 3.8 million passengers. Singapore, for example, enjoyed a 16% increase in passengers from 2015-2016, and Seabourn, the luxury cruise line owned and operated by Carnival, is investing heavily in Asia, christening its largest and newest ship the, Seabourn Encore, this year. Royal Caribbean has likewise announced that it has increased...
Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter IconLinkedinLinkedin