Wendy Lewis was enjoying a trip with her husband on the 650-foot luxury cruise ship Seabourn Quest. Unfortunately, reports indicate that Mrs. Lewis fell from the cruise ship and died. Her body was discovered in the waters of Cape Ann. Our team of cruise ship wrongful death lawyers are deeply saddened to read about another life lost on a cruise ship. To make matters worse, her death certificate states that the cause of her death remains “pending,” according to the Gloucester Times.
The FBI continues to investigate the tragic death of Mrs. Lewis. Kristen Setera, speaking for the FBI, stated that the case remains an “ongoing investigation,” and that Agency continues to have “no comment at this time” regarding the woman’s identity or the circumstances of her tragic passing.
The Larger the Cruise Ship, the Larger the Mystery
The Seabourn Quest features 11 decks with a capacity of over 450 passengers boarded in luxury suites. On a vessel so vast, when a terrible incident occurs like a fall, quick action does not follow. Instead, there are vast gaps in time from when the incident occurred to when it was reported to authorities. After this tragic incident, authorities did not know Mrs. Lewis was missing until her body was discovered.
Can the Cruise Liner Be Held Responsible?
When a serious injury or death occurs on a cruise liner, it is important to ask what duty, if any, the cruise liner owed to the victim. In general, cruise ships are considered “common carriers.”
This means that cruise line companies owe a special duty beyond reasonable care to the passengers on board the vessel. Cruise liners must exercise a high degree of care in order to protect their passengers against physical harm or death. When the cruise liner fails, or breaches, this special duty and a passenger is injured or dies as a result, the cruise liner could potentially be held liable in a civil court.
Cruise Liners Attempt to Prevent Legal Action
Just because a cruise liner breached its special duty does not mean the victim will prevail through a civil suit. Cruise liners have put in numerous hurdles to prevent civil claims from being filed after an incident. For example, cruise ship tickets routinely contain provisions placing the burden on the passenger to notify the cruise line through a written statement that they intend to file a civil claim, whether it be a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim.
If the notice requirement is not bad enough, the cruise ticket may go even further and limit the scope of time you have to notify the cruise liner. For example, some cruise liners only give you six months to send out the notice.
Cruise lines also add clauses limiting the location in which a claim can be filed. For example, some cruise liners require that any and all claims be filed in Italy or some other country that looks more favorably upon the cruise liner.
Speak to a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Law Firm Today
Do not take on the cruise line alone. Speak to an experienced maritime attorney to help guide you through the complicated claims process. Contact Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation.