Articles Posted in Crime Victims

Yes, there is a difference, and it can be a significant one. Singles cruises are geared toward younger individuals, with activities, excursions, and events planned around the themes of meeting new people and breaking the ice. Being a single ON a cruise means you are a passenger enjoying amenities alongside families, couples, and often other solo travelers. There are numerous attractions with both scenarios, but they do share a common element: You are surrounded by strangers, at least initially. Though you may meet new friends and rely on cruise ship crew to do their job in terms of security, you are on your own in terms of protecting yourself. 

As such, it is important to take into account a few safety tips for singles cruises and singles going on cruises. Plus, since you do have rights if you are injured, you can use some additional recommendations on what to do if you suffer harm in a Miami cruise ship accident.

Safety Tips for Singles on Cruise Vacations 

When you board one of the enormous cruise ships that sail out of Miami and South Florida ports, you are essentially stepping onto a floating city. Unfortunately, this means the potential for criminal activity exists just as it does on land. The US Department of Transportation maintains a list of cruise line incident reports, and the good news is that most are related to public intoxication and crew swiftly diffuses conflict. However, sexual assault, violent attacks, theft, and related offenses are still a threat. 

Cruise vessels have a wide array of amenities for passengers, but they are also equipped with much of the same infrastructure and personnel that you expect in a typical municipality. Despite efforts to establish safety initiatives and maintain skilled security staff, criminal activity is still a problem. You should consult with a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer if you suffered harm, though it is also useful to know how cruise operators handle onboard crime.

Investigations of Criminal Activity

Authorities Investigate Death on Princess Cruise Ship as Murder

On Tuesday, November 13, Almarosa Tenorio, 52, died on the Princess Cruises vessel, the Royal Princess. The cruise ship was in the middle of an eight-day trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Caribbean. Initial reports indicate that the woman struggled with a man on an upper deck. The man appeared to choke her before pushing her overboard. She fell from the upper deck, falling 14 stories onto a lifeboat. The death was reported to local authorities in Aruba, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is involved. It is being investigated as a suspected murder.

While authorities will investigate and determine whether criminal charges may be brought, Tenorio’s surviving children may consider whether there is an appropriate civil claim. There may be evidence regarding a lack of appropriate security aboard the cruise ship. Also, if a suspect is identified, the family may have a wrongful death claim against the responsible individual.

Teenagers are victims in shipboard assaults

Our Miami cruise ship injury attorneys see the peril of shipboard crimes such as sexual assault and the law’s inability to address these tragedies. These consequences are alarming for victims under 18 as these media reports show.

Cruise line offers apology and trip to assault victim

Crime on cruise ships is not a new phenomenon, regrettably. Many voyages were ruined by unexplained deaths, overboard passengers, sexual assault, battery, and theft suffered by passengers on the world’s most popular cruise lines. Committing a crime while on vacation seems utterly irrational, but it happens. Cruise lines owe passengers a duty of care to protect their passengers from harm. Therefore, cruise lines may be held accountable to you if you are the victim of a crime while onboard. Florida cruise ship attorneys will provide you with zealous representation if you are the victim of a crime while on a cruise ship.

Until very recently, crime statistics for crimes that occur on a cruise ship were inconsistently reported.  While the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains crime statistics, cruise lines compiled their own statistics. These compilations rarely, if ever, agreed with one another. Often, the FBI would report individual numbers while the cruise lines would report something wildly different. The public did not have access to the crime statistics, which compounded matters. Obviously, cruise lines have a vested interest in under reporting the numbers of crimes allegedly happening during their voyages.

Now, with the assistance from the United States Department of Transportation, the public has ready access to crime statistics for a crime allegedly committed on board a cruising vessel.  Critically, recently enacted legislation not only compels cruise line to cooperate with reporting of offenses, but FBI agents are also assigned to investigate crimes the reportedly happen during a voyage. The FBI will establish a communication system that enables victims to contact the FBI for assistance while onboard the vessel.

Sexual Assaults on Cruise Ships Increase from Last Year

For a number of years, many have argued that cruise lines should be subjected to more stringent requirements for reporting crimes that happen both on board and in the numerous destinations these ships visit. Cruise ship injury attorneys have argued that cruise lines should make passenger safety a top priority and that they should thoroughly explain the measures they are taking to maintain and improve passenger welfare. Unfortunately, a number of cruise passengers are raped, or sexually assaulted every year. In the past, many of these incidents may not have been reported or are under reported by the cruise lines.  A major factor that plays in to the prevalence of these terrible crimes is because cruise ships provide inadequate safety and security measures on their ships. Some cruise ships do not even have security cameras in common areas making a cruise ship an easy target for predators.

Without a clear understanding of the incidents that occur on board, cruise lines often  attempt to dodge legal liability for failing to remedy unsafe conditions. For example, a crew member commits a rape or sexual assault, the cruise line is strictly liable under federal maritime law. In order to avoid legal liability cruise line operators often send the employee back to their place of origin. If a rape or sexual assault is committed by a passenger, then the victim must establish that the cruise line operator failed to act with reasonable care under the circumstances.

Perhaps 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 & 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.

While 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 & 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

Are you contemplating a cruise ship vacation? If so, please be wise and keep your valuables at home (if possible). Theft crimes on cruise ships are not uncommon. Not only do these theft crimes take place at United States ports and at sea, theft crimes also take place while ported on foreign lands. For instance, just last month, in March 2016, while making a stop in Belize, six cruise ship passengers and one tour guide were robbed at gunpoint. The robbery occurred while the passengers enjoyed an excursion at the Altun Ha Maya ruins site. Local police detained a few people in the area as suspects.

If you were a victim of a theft crime while abroad, it is imperative that you retain an experienced attorney for your case. Contact the Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA. 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.

The Basics of Robbery

Sexual 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.       

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