Articles Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents/Incidents

Over the Juy 4th weekend, it was reported that multiple passengers were seriously injured on the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. The most serious incidents includes a report that an 8 year old child drowned in the ship pool. In addition, several other passengers reported orthopedic injuries and possibly broken bones due to slip, trip and fall hazards on the Anthem as well. One passenger has already contacted the cruise ship injury lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA to discuss potential clams she may have against this cruise line for their negligence. Under federal maritime law, cruise line operators are required to provide reasonable care under the circumstances. What reasonable care means however, depends on the facts of each case and can vary depending on a number of factors that need to be carefully analyzed by a law firm that specializes in maritime law.

The latest drowning incident highlights the long need for cruise ships to employ lifeguards in their pools facilities. Legal and safety advocates state that the cruise lines are not legally required to employ lifeguards. However, given the increase number of drowning incidents in recent years, cruise line operators have been pressed to utilize lifeguards just as any other water, or recreation facility to make these attractions more safe. In this case, the 8 year old boy had to be medevaced from the ship. He was eventually taken back to Staten Island. His current medical condition is unknown.  The investigation into the drowning incident and other unfortunate accidents and injuries that occurred on the latest Anthem of the Seas will be evaluated over the next several months. Gerson and Schwartz lawyers have over 45 years experience representing accident and injury victims on both land and sea. Our lawyers are ready and willing to assist you with a potential legal claim against all of the major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America and others.  For more information on how we can help, contact the cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz, PA, for more information. All cases are handled under a contingent fee.

cruise ship poolAre you contemplating embarking on a cruise ship vacation? Be aware that accidents on cruise ships seem to happen with regularity. Often times the accident may be life threatening or even fatal. A common type of accident on cruise ships is drowning. Even though this is a common tragedy, cruise ships fail to hire lifeguards to monitor cruise ship swimming areas. As a matter of fact, the only cruise line that hires lifeguards is the Disney Cruise line.       

Just recently, a 4-year-old child almost drowned in a cruise ship wave pool. He was a passenger of the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. The cruise ship had just departed from Port Everglades, when unbeknownst to his mother, the boy entered the wave pool. The young child was then “swept away.” It was reported that he was below water for over six minutes. Another passenger spotted the drowning child. This accident prompted the ship to return to Port Everglades. The young child, in critical condition, was rushed to a nearby hospital. This accident prompted additional demands for lifeguards on all cruise ships. This demand is echoed by Andrew Coggins, a cruise industry expert. Mr. Coggins maintains that all cruise lines should have lifeguards and all cruise lines should require children wear flotation vests when near the pools.

If you or your loved one were injured on a cruise ship, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA have the experience and skill need to aggressively take on your case. Contact our attorneys today at 305-371-6000 or via email at info@gslawusa.com to schedule a FREE consultation.    

police tapePerhaps contrary to popular belief, criminal acts run rampant on cruise ships.  This in large part is due to the extreme lack of security personnel.  For instance, and unfortunately, cruises do not have law enforcement officers on board.  However, cruise lines do employ their own security personnel.  These security personnel are trained to maintain the safety on cruise ships and to protect evidence of a crime.  Even with these special security figures, crime remains commonplace on cruises.

Recently, on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas cruise ship, Jason Lawson, 32 years of age, was charged for an attack on a 13-year-old boy.  Lawson’s 13-year-old daughter also attended the cruise ship and was offered a keychain for her virginity by said 13-year-old boy.  Lawson is accused of assisting Arturno Martinez Jr., 30, assault the young boy.  In short, Lawson now faces battery, false imprisonment and additional charges from this incident.  The other attacker, Martinez, was charged with child abuse, assault, battery and false imprisonment of a child.  At the time of this incident, Lawson forced the 13-year-old boy to apologize to his daughter.  Minutes later, the 13-year-old girl’s uncle, Martinez, cornered the young boy in the cruise ship’s library and began to beat him.  At the same time, Lawson watched and blocked the boy’s escape.      

If you or a loved one are a victim of a crime, it is imperative you hire an experienced attorney.  The Miami crime victim lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA provide high quality legal representation.  For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online to set up a FREE initial consultation.

100_0677While a cruise ship voyage can be a dream vacation, accidents and crime may occur. Just recently, Gary Stevenson, 27 years of age, admitted he stabbed a cruise ship worker, Katy Bourke, three times because she refused to have sex with him. Mr. Stevenson, a hard drinker, essentially snapped and fatally attacked her. Before the stabbings, Stevenson punched her repeatedly in the face and put his hands around her throat. After killing her, Stevenson then cut his wrists in a fake suicide attempt. Officers discovered Bourke’s naked body next to her bed near a large kitchen-knife. The officers were notified by Katy’s friends when she failed to show up for work.  

If you or a loved one is a victim of a crime at sea, it is important that an experienced maritime lawyer is retained for your case. Cruise ship companies have their own lawyers who work for them following an incident and so should you. The Miami cruise ship lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA provide high quality legal representation. For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.

The Basics of Murder

bacteriaCases of gastrointestinal illness (“GI”) have grown to become a serious problem for various cruise lines. The cases are growing in number. Today, there are several cruise lines that are specifically required to report the total number of GI illness cases. These cruise lines are participating in the Vessel Sanitation Program (“VSP”).  

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) there was a severe gastrointestinal outbreak on the Ocean Princess cruise ship of the Princess Cruises cruise line. From this apparent outbreak, 63 out of 603 passengers (or 10.45%) became ill while on the cruise. Seven crewmembers also became ill. This notable outbreak occurred during the cruise ship’s February 13th through March 7th, 2016 voyage. Among all those sickened, the predominant symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea. In response to this outbreak, the cruise ship’s crewmembers, those not sick, increased their cleaning and disinfection procedures, collected stool samples from the sickened passengers and crewmembers for testing and made daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases. The CDS Vessel Sanitation Program (“VSP”) is currently monitoring the outbreak and the ship’s response procedures.  

Have you or a loved one suffered from an illness while on a cruise ship?  If it is found that the cruise ship was at fault for your illness, you may be entitled to compensation.  To best protect your interests, it is imperative that you retain an experienced attorney.  The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here to help. At Gerson and Schwartz, PA we provide high quality legal representation. For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.   

Shower headSexual assaults on cruises are, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence. The facts are quite scary. One major cruise line recently indicated that there were 173 sexual assaults or rapes reported on their ships during a five-year period. To make matters worse, none of these 173 reports were ever prosecuted. A different major cruise line reported that there are two rapes or sexual assaults per month on each of its cruise ships. Just recently, off the coast of Florida, a cruise line’s steward was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in a cruise ship shower. The steward was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and sexual battery of a person less than 16 years of age. Investigators maintain that the steward saw the young boy in a ship sauna. The two started talking as they used the facility. To get away from the steward, the boy left the sauna and went to the showers; yet, the steward followed and engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct. 

The Lawsuit

If you wish to file a lawsuit against a cruise line, there are some important rules that you must be aware of. For one, cruise ship tickets that you initially purchase normally have a “forum selection clause” and a “choice of law clause.” These clauses are often printed on the back of the ticket in small font. These clauses specifically indicate in which state the passenger may sue the cruise line, as well as the law that will apply in his or her case. You should strictly adhere to the rules listed on your ticket. Failure to do so may ultimately have your case dismissed. If the cruise ticket has you filing the case in Florida, with Florida law applying, the following rules of law may apply to your situation.       

police tapeRecently, a Carnival Liberty cruise ship returned to a port in South Florida following a tragedy at sea. The unconscious body of a passenger, 36 years of age, was found aboard the cruise ship. The passenger, once found, received immediate medical treatment but was pronounced dead two hours after her discovery. Currently, the FBI is investigating the passenger’s death and is awaiting the autopsy report. The FBI has stated that the accident could possibly be a homicide.  Per the FBI, this case is largely still under investigation.

As it turns out, murders on the high seas are not uncommon. Just on Carnival cruise ships, for example, there have been a number of passenger deaths last year alone. Last year, a Carnival cruise passenger was brutally murdered by her husband. He was later charged and convicted of first degree murder.     

If someone you love was murdered at sea, it is critical to retain an experienced maritime lawyer. The relevant laws are highly complex. The Miami cruise ship attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here for you. Our attorneys have plenty of experience filing claims against all major cruise lines. We can provide you an ease of mind, as we know what do and know how to deal with the numerous complexities. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights.     

9513572473_e39619123aCruise ship vacations provide for the perfect getaway. However, risks of injury and/or crime are relatively high for those embarking on a cruise. Recently, yet another cruise ship passenger fell off a balcony. This happens all too often. A Texas man fell off the balcony of a ship off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. He is currently being sought by search-and-rescue crews. This tragic event occurred about 36 nautical miles south of the Carysfort Reef Light. At around 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, David Mossman, age 46, fell 100 feet from the 10th deck of the cruise ship and into the dark water. This event was witnessed by another passenger and it was caught on security camera footage.

Cruise ship incidents, though not always fatal, can happen to any passenger, or crew member, at anytime. For this reason, it is critical that you take several safety precautions while you enjoy your cruise ship vacation. If you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation. It is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA have the experience and skill needed to take on your case. Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.    

How to Stay Safe on Your Cruise

1c919lp8While swarms of people embark on cruise ships annually, crimes committed upon them seem to run rampant. What is sad is that many individuals who commit crimes aboard cruise ships actually get away with their crimes. It is a mess. What makes it even messier is the existence of the jurisdiction issue. A congressional hearing in 2007 revealed that in the past three years, 28 people have disappeared while on cruise ships. Of these, only three have been found! There have been 200 reported cases of assault or sexual misconduct aboard cruise ships. There have been four cases reported of grand theft. True, this may not appear to be a huge number of incidents.  Yet, it is a large number when you take into consideration the several nuances of enforcing the law at sea. Most of these cases have not been sufficiently investigated and few have even been solved.

If you are a victim of crime or injury at sea, to best safeguard your interests, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The experienced Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here for you. We have the experience and skill needed to take on your case.  Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

Jurisdiction at Sea

P1070996Cruises have quickly become one of the most popular forms of vacationing. Each cruise is accompanied by its many activities to pick from and enjoy. For instance, several cruise lines offer whale watching. Whale watching is the practice of observing whales in their natural habitat. As with other vacationing activities, accidents tend to occur. One notable incident recently occurred. A 150-foot whale watching ship crashed into a wharf next to a downtown pier, injuring seven passengers and damaging the ship. There were 144 people onboard this ship. As it turns out, crewmembers reported that mechanical issues stuck the ship’s throttle in the forward position just prior to the ship’s crash. At the moment, the United States Coast Guard is investigating this accident.

This was certainly a horrific incident. If you or a loved one were injured on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. It is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney for your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here to help.  Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

If an Accident Occurs

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