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Articles Tagged with cruise ship accidents

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.

While aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, an 8-year-old boy drowned in one of the ship’s swimming pools. The ship named “The Liberty of the Seas” was traveling from Galveston, Texas to Cozumel, Mexico when the tragedy occurred. The child’s body was discovered by one of the passengers and removed from the pool. A member of the ship’s medical team performed CPR on the child for over an hour but was unsuccessful. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a cruise ship accident, consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.

Despite the many risks involved with swimming children, most cruise lines do not have lifeguards stationed at their family pools. It is telling that in this situation a passenger and not a cruise ship employee had to be the one to first attempt to rescue the boy from the pool.

While signs are always posted to warn passengers to swim at their own risk, it makes you wonder if that is enough to protect children on cruises. Especially when you consider the scenario of a long cruise where there are many opportunities for a child to be separated from his or her parent and swim unsupervised, the lack of lifeguards is baffling.

Cruise ship season has begun in Florida. As cruise ships leave the coasts of Europe and Alaska, seeking warmer waters in Florida and the Caribbean, many Americans are choosing cruise ships as the venue for their wintertime vacations. Cruise lines have been reporting increased numbers of bookings from last year, with Carnival Cruise Corp. boasting a 20% increase in early 2016 bookings from the previous year. With an increased number of Americans choosing to sail on cruise ships comes increased numbers of accidents that cruise ship companies could be liable for. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship, contact an experienced Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney today.

Cruise Ship Season in Florida

Cruise ship season in Florida typically stretches from November until April. Americans suffering cold winters flock to Florida for reprieve from blizzards and subzero temperatures. 62% of all people who have left the US on a cruise ship has done so through a Florida port. With Hurricane season ending in October, the winter months are some of the safest times to travel the sea.

Most accidents on a cruise ship could take place anywhere. Whether it is a slip and fall or any other premises liability mishap, cruise ship passengers usually face the same risks they would on land. There are some unique dangers present due to the unpredictability of the high seas that can leave you injured and needing an experienced cruise ship lawyer.

Rough waters and oncoming storms are some of the risks for which the cruise ship crew should be prepared. Through tight communication with the coast guard, most of these sea-born dangers can be avoided and mitigated. But sometimes, due to negligence, apathy or conceit, the cruise ship could be set on a course that is unsafe for both the ship’s employees and its passengers.

We have all heard of the Costa Concordia disaster, where a cocky captain maneuvered the ship too close to shore to enjoy a nice view, hit an underwater rock, and caused the ship to capsize. Most cruise ship disasters occur in different, more common scenarios.

Earlier last week our Cruise Ship Lawyers sought and received a court order under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 (b) in the  form of issue based sanctions against Defendant Carnival Cruise Lines in a lawsuit brought by Mrs. Esperanza Viletta in the case of Viletta v. Carnival Cruise Lines, Case No. 11-20930. The sanctions were ordered by United States Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan and were upheld by United States District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga in a six (6) page written order. Click this link to read the Order. The sanctions were issued based on a myriad of discovery violations including express denials by Defendant Carnival concerning the failure to disclose and otherwise hide the existence of certain documents, reports, and based on record testimony by Carnival’s Corporate Representative in deposition. In her order, Judge Altonaga held that the sanctions entered were warranted and over Carnivals objections, were not contrary to the law despite their severity and should “deter” Carnival and p0tentially others from similar conduct in the future.

In the October 30, 2014 order, the court determined the appropriate sanctions were a determination that as a matter of law that 1.)Notice of a dangerous condition and the existence of a dangerous condition was established prior to trial and 2.) Defendant’s affirmative defense as to lack of notice was stricken.  Junior Partner, Nicholas I. Gerson, of the Miami personal injury law offices of Gerson & Schwartz, PA served as lead counsel and argued the matter in the United States District  Court for the Southern District of Florida. At an October 28, 2014 hearing, Gerson argued that the type of sanctions were necessary in order to cure the prejudice against his client and that absent such relief would only benefit Carnival and would ultimately reward Carnival for hiding important evidence. The Court agreed.

At issue was Carnival’s express denial that it had not made any changes to the yellow tile floor surfaces in the Lido market place restaurant on the Carnival Breeze. Despite their denials,  Carnival had in fact applied a slip resistant coating to the market place floor surfaces on the vessel and had even conducted tests to check the floors for slip resistance before the application. The existence of reports and Carnivals’ findings of  test results were also repeatedly denied by Carnival throughout the lawsuit. Yet as it turned out the floor surfaces were changed and documented proof of the testing performed confirmed the floors fell  below the standard of care for slip resistance and were dangerous as alleged by the Plaintiff. The reference to reports were buried in several emails that were produced and after numerous hearings where Carnival took the position that no documents existed. The reports were eventually ordered to be produced by the Court and when they were disclosed the reports showed Carnival was aware about the dangers of the floor surfaces prior to Ms. Viletta’s incident and were even specific to the area where Ms. Viletta had fallen. The Miami personal injury lawyers  of Gerson & Schwartz represent  injury victims on land and sea. If you or a loved one are in need of  aggressive legal representation contact the Miami Florida personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA at 1-877-475-2905 , or visit www.injuryattorneyfla.com. All cases are handled on a contingent fee.

 

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