Gastrointestinal Outbreak on Ocean Princess Cruise Ship

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 & Schwartz PA are here to help. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA we provide high quality legal representation. For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.   

Your Personal Injury Case

If you become severely ill, while on a cruise ship, at the fault of a cruise ship, you may have a strong case against the cruise line itself. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. The law is clear. Cruise ships that depart from United States ports are held to be common carriers. As such, they owe their passengers a heightened duty of care in terms of protecting them from harm and ensuring they arrive at their destinations safety. If a cruise ship passenger is injured at the fault of the cruise line, he or she may sue the cruise line for damages. The types of damages include, but are certainly not limited to, pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.

Cruise Ships and Negligence

Primarily, if you (“Plaintiff”) are injured, or incur an illness, on a cruise ship, at the fault of the cruise ship/line, you must be able to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the cruise line (“Defendant”) was at least negligent. Establishing negligence requires, for one, that Plaintiff show that a duty was owed to him or her. Cruise ships owe its passengers the general duty of safe transportation.

Cruise ships are deemed common carriers and owe their passengers a heightened duty of care.  Plaintiff must then be able to show that Defendant breached said duty. Next, Plaintiff must show that the Defendant’s breach actually and foreseeably caused Plaintiff’s injury or illness. Lastly, Plaintiff must show his injury or illness. Yet, please be aware that your prospective claim may be subject to various cruise ship laws that dictate when and where a grieving passenger may file suit and even the applicable law. You should also carefully ready your cruise ship ticket. Normally, the ticket will have terms covering when you must report an injury. The ticket may also state that claims have a one-year statute of limitations instead of the three-year limitations of admiralty or maritime law.

Take Action and Hire an Attorney for Your Case

Again, it is important that you seek advice of an experienced maritime attorney. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here to help. We know the relevant laws and are licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts. Our Florida law offices are located in the heart of Miami. Our attorneys have 80 years of collective experience handling maritime accident cases. Your case will be handled on a contingency fee. Thus, no money is owed to us unless we recover money on your behalf. Contact us today at for a consultation at 1-877-475-2905.

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