Cruise Ship’s Passport Policy Leads to Delayed Medical Treatment for Passenger

Unless you are a naturalized United States citizen, it is difficult to appreciate how easy it is to travel to most countries with a U.S. passport. In many countries, you can simply buy a modestly priced visa when you arrive at the airport, and some countries will simply stamp your passport and allow you to enter without a visa. When you travel to Canada or Mexico by ground transportation, you can simply show your passport card instead of getting your passport book stamped. Of course, no matter what country you are from, it is easy to understand how not having your passport with you is an emergency. Perhaps you know someone who misplaced a passport when traveling abroad and made a frantic call to the embassy to get a replacement. Several years ago, a child suffered serious complications from a minor injury he sustained on a cruise ship because of the cruise ship’s policy about passengers bringing passports. If a cruise ship company puts you in a dangerous situation that causes or worsens your injuries, contact a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer.

Child’s Minor Injury Turns Serious Because of Lack of Access to Medical Facilities

Although everything would change a month later, the cruise industry was still in full swing in February 2020. Three-year-old Roman Mejias and his mother, Nicole, went on a Gulf of Mexico cruise operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. The cruise line advised passengers who were United States citizens not to bring their passports. While on the cruise, Roman accidentally scraped his eyelid while playing with a toy car. His mother applied over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, but the scratch became infected, and eventually, Roman’s eyelid swelled to five times its normal size. Nicole asked the ship’s administrators to make port in Mexico so that she could take Roman to a hospital, but they refused since Roman and his mother did not have their passports. Nicole even called the U.S. consulate in Mexico, but she was unable to arrange for Roman to visit a hospital in Mexico.

Roman stayed in the infirmary until the ship came ashore at Port Canaveral, by which time the infirmary bills exceeded $13,000. To make matters worse, Norwegian Cruise Lines tried to stop the family from leaving the ship until they paid the bill in full. Eventually, they let them leave after Nicole paid $6,000, with a promise to pay the rest later. Once they disembarked, Nicole took Roman straight to a hospital emergency room, where he received treatment and made a full recovery. News reports did not indicate whether Roman’s family filed a lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Line, but they certainly had the right to sue.

Contact Gerson & Schwartz About Cruise Ship Accident Cases

A cruise ship liability lawyer can help you get the money you need to cover your medical bills if you suffer harm because a cruise ship’s decision-makers refused to get you medical treatment when you needed it.  Contact Gerson & Schwartz in Miami, Florida, to discuss your case.

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