Articles Tagged with crime

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

Carnival Cruise Line has ordered “mega cruise ships” that will hold about 7,000 passengers each, making them essentially floating cities. Obviously, this means bigger profits for Carnival, as bigger ships will mean more passengers and more ticket sales. But is bigger going to mean better and safer? Probably not. Our team of experienced Miami maritime injury attorneys have handled serious cruise ship injury cases and, in many instances, the focus for the cruise line is to pack as many people on board, regardless of potential safety hazards.

Some maritime experts are getting worried about the security issues associated with putting so many people on a ship at the same time and going for extended voyages at sea. This can pose problems for smaller ports which do not have the infrastructure to handle potentially thousands of people at the same time, especially when it comes to providing emergency services. In fact, mega cruises can practically double a small port’s population in a matter of minutes by dumping an entire “city” full of passengers and creating havoc. In addition, the bigger cruise ships will, by having more number of people on board, increase the danger of outbreak of diseases like the norovirus (which recently occurred on two Royal Caribbean cruise ships in 2015). These mega ships are likely going to be magnets for criminals and thieves looking to steal purses, wallets, and other valuables.

A legislative proposal by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey named the Cruise Passenger Protection Act of 2015 (CPPA) will make it mandatory for cruise liners to have built-in state-of-the-art security technologies such as man-overboard detection systems and other relevant security systems. The proposed law would also provide for security measures for passengers who have been victims of crimes at sea. The CPPA is just a proposal at this point working its way through Congress. This means, as of now, the level of security on a cruise ship is dependent upon the discretion of the cruise line.

Cruise ships are not always about welcome drinks, sundecks, and romantic dinners under the moonlit night. There are, unfortunately, many serious crimes that can occur on board a cruise ship, no matter how secure you think you may be. Petty thefts, serious assaults, battery, and even rapes have been reported on cruise ships. In fact, over 950 cruise ship crimes were reported to the FBI between 2011 and 2012, and those are only the crimes that the FBI is aware of. Unfortunately, many crimes, especially sexual assaults, go unreported. Our team of Miami maritime lawyers are here to help and have handled many cases for victims of serious criminal acts while on board a cruise ship or other vessel.

Get Treatment, if Needed

If you or a loved one are the victim of a physical assault or rape by a fellow passenger or crew member, seek immediate medical attention. Cruise ships should have trained medical professionals on board to provide treatment. Be sure, once you return to land, to get copies of the medical records so you can provide them to the authorities and to your attorney. This will help established that the incident occurred if a claim is pursued against the cruise liner and/or an employee of the liner.

Media reports of unauthorized entry into a stateroom by a low level crew member, beating, forcible rape, attempted murder, and escape shock the cruising public.

Every cruise passenger lawyer knows there is strict liability for these harms.  This means Holland America owes this passenger 100% of her compensatory damages.

Philip Gerson, Board Chair of the National Center for Victims of Crime and board member for International Cruise Victims organizations says this is not enough.  “This victim should sue Holland America for punitive damages for misleading the vacationing public about the safety of cruising.  Passengers at sea are in a jurisdictional vacuum and cruise lines refuse to undertake needed reforms to prevent these attacks.”  Gerson, founding partner at Gerson & Schwartz  in Miami said the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) should also be sued for promoting a disinformation campaign to mislead the public about the dangers of unskilled, poorly trained and inadequately supervised crew members who harm innocent travelers.”