While the exact details of the accident are still under investigation, what is clear is that a crew member died in a Carnival Ecstasy elevator while passengers caught glimpses of the gruesome scene. The ship was in the last legs of a Caribbean cruise departing from Miami when Florida residents Matt Davis and his wife were walking toward the elevator and noticed it was malfunctioning, only partly open and dripping with a copious amount of blood. When they alerted the cruise ship’s staff, they were told to leave the scene and enter the restaurant.
Miami-Dade police are currently investigating the freak accident that killed electrician Jose Sandoval Opazo, 66, of Liguria, Italy. Carnival Cruise Line has been reluctant to provide many details regarding the incident but do extend their support to the victim and his family. Witnesses of the accident say that crew members told them that Opazo was working either inside or behind the elevator when the elevator came down. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.
Carnival Cruise Line has been fraught with controversy surrounding various catastrophic accidents in recent years. In 2012 the Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of Italy, killing 32 people. The cause of the accident was the hubris of the ship’s captain who intentionally steered the ship too close to shore. In 2013 the Carnival Triumph caught fire, which knocked out the ship’s power, leaving the cruise stranded for four days without working toilets.
Legal Recourse for Victim’s Family
A common misconception surrounding cruise ship injuries and wrongful death claims is that they fall under the same rules and laws as land-based accidents such as car crashes and premise liability claims. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Because these accidents happen at sea, they fall under maritime law and various requirements and restrictions apply to filing a lawsuit.
Cruise ship companies often insert various provisions into their tickets that set the rules for filing lawsuits. This often includes shortening the window available to file a lawsuit and requiring a written notice be sent to the cruise liner before a lawsuit can be filed. While cruise ship employees do not have to agree to these rules, they may have certain language in their contracts that may make it more difficult to litigate. Some cruise liners restrict the area in which a claim can be filed such as only allowing lawsuits to happen in Florida courts or even a foreign country. These restrictions are blatant attempts by cruise liners to inconvenience passengers out of filing a lawsuit.
Contact a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship, do not hesitate to contact an experienced cruise ship accident attorney. At Gerson & Schwartz P.A. we have extensive experience going toe to toe with all the major cruise line companies and have an excellent track record of receiving favorable settlements. All our cases are conducted on a contingent fee so there are no attorney’s fees unless we recover money on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.