Jurisdiction Issues in Cruise Ship Lawsuits

While swarms of people embark on cruise ships annually, crimes committed upon them seem to run rampant. What is sad is that many individuals who commit crimes aboard cruise ships actually get away with their crimes. It is a mess. What makes it even messier is the existence of the jurisdiction issue. A congressional hearing in 2007 revealed that in the past three years, 28 people have disappeared while on cruise ships. Of these, only three have been found! There have been 200 reported cases of assault or sexual misconduct aboard cruise ships. There have been four cases reported of grand theft. True, this may not appear to be a huge number of incidents.  Yet, it is a large number when you take into consideration the several nuances of enforcing the law at sea. Most of these cases have not been sufficiently investigated and few have even been solved.

If you are a victim of crime or injury at sea, to best safeguard your interests, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The experienced Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here for you. We have the experience and skill needed to take on your case.  Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

Jurisdiction at Sea

Should you desire to file a claim or seek a lawsuit pertaining to an incident at sea, please take note that most cruise lines nowadays register their cruise ships with foreign countries and yield to the jurisdiction of their laws. What this means is that the law of the country where the ship is registered may apply to the incidents or crimes that occur on your cruise. Furthermore, if your cruise departed from a United States port, the laws of the state of departure, United States federal law and other international treaties may also apply to your situation.

So, you probably see now how messy at-sea jurisdiction can be. Well, there is more. Per 18 U.S. Code Section 7, special maritime jurisdiction may also apply when an offense is committed, or alleged to have been committed, by or against a United States national in a location outside of the jurisdiction of any country and if it covers foreign vessels that have a United States arrival or departure port.  

Florida law enforcement has special maritime jurisdiction under Florida Statute 910.006. This special maritime jurisdiction exists when (i) an offense is committed and the victim is a resident of Florida; (ii) the suspect on board the ship is a resident or citizen of the state of Florida; (iii) more than one half of the revenue passengers aboard the cruise ship originally embarked and plan to ultimately disembark in a Florida port; or (iv) if the offense could have lead to a substantial effect within the state of Florida.

Hire an Attorney for Your Case

The world of at-sea jurisdiction can be quite complex. For this reason, if you or your loved one are injured abroad, it is important that you seek advice from an attorney. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of adequate compensation. For help on these difficult issues, contact the Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA at 1-877- 475-2905 for immediate assistance. We have the knowledge, skill and experience and aggressively and competently take on your case.   

Contact Information