Articles Tagged with cruise ship crime lawyer

It does not take long for news to travel via social media, so videos of a recent brawl on a Carnival Cruise vacation started appearing on Twitter and TikTok even before the ship docked. An article in the Miami Herald covered the melee, which occurred on the Carnival Sunrise on September 9, 2022. According to witnesses, the altercation started with an argument over a chair at one of the ship’s many bars and quickly became violent. Various videos show individuals in bathing suits punching, beating, and kicking each other while others scream and attempt to break up the brawl.

Witnesses report that there seemed to be around 30 people involved in the fight. However, videos reveal that many onlookers may have suffered injuries from the brawlers or in attempts to get away. The story raises important questions about liability and the duty of cruise lines to keep passengers safe. You should discuss specific remedies with a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer, but a few legal points are helpful. 

Cruise Ship Notice of Hazards

When you book a cruise, you think of sea breezes, relaxation, excellent food, and all the top-notch activities and amenities you will enjoy with your family. You do not ever expect to become the victim of a cruise ship crime, but statistics reveal the risks. According to Cruzely, an online resource for information on cruise vacations, there are almost 150 crimes reported on ships departing from US ports every year. However, industry officials warn that the numbers could be much higher due to lack of reporting. 

You know what to do as the victim of a crime when you are in the familiar surroundings of your home and community. The situation can be overwhelming as a passenger on a cruise ship, at sea and miles from shore. Though you must make it a priority to consult with a lawyer for Miami cruise ship crime victims, some tips can help you cope. Some additional data on criminal activity aboard cruises sheds some light on the problem.

Additional Statistics on Cruise Ship Crimes

Sexual assaults on cruises are, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence. The facts are quite scary. One major cruise line recently indicated that there were 173 sexual assaults or rapes reported on their ships during a five-year period. To make matters worse, none of these 173 reports were ever prosecuted. A different major cruise line reported that there are two rapes or sexual assaults per month on each of its cruise ships. Just recently, off the coast of Florida, a cruise line’s steward was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in a cruise ship shower. The steward was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and sexual battery of a person less than 16 years of age. Investigators maintain that the steward saw the young boy in a ship sauna. The two started talking as they used the facility. To get away from the steward, the boy left the sauna and went to the showers; yet, the steward followed and engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct. 

The Lawsuit

If you wish to file a lawsuit against a cruise line, there are some important rules that you must be aware of. For one, cruise ship tickets that you initially purchase normally have a “forum selection clause” and a “choice of law clause.” These clauses are often printed on the back of the ticket in small font. These clauses specifically indicate in which state the passenger may sue the cruise line, as well as the law that will apply in his or her case. You should strictly adhere to the rules listed on your ticket. Failure to do so may ultimately have your case dismissed. If the cruise ticket has you filing the case in Florida, with Florida law applying, the following rules of law may apply to your situation.       

Recently, a Carnival Liberty cruise ship returned to a port in South Florida following a tragedy at sea. The unconscious body of a passenger, 36 years of age, was found aboard the cruise ship. The passenger, once found, received immediate medical treatment but was pronounced dead two hours after her discovery. Currently, the FBI is investigating the passenger’s death and is awaiting the autopsy report. The FBI has stated that the accident could possibly be a homicide.  Per the FBI, this case is largely still under investigation.

As it turns out, murders on the high seas are not uncommon. Just on Carnival cruise ships, for example, there have been a number of passenger deaths last year alone. Last year, a Carnival cruise passenger was brutally murdered by her husband. He was later charged and convicted of first degree murder.     

If someone you love was murdered at sea, it is critical to retain an experienced maritime lawyer. The relevant laws are highly complex. The Miami cruise ship attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here for you. Our attorneys have plenty of experience filing claims against all major cruise lines. We can provide you an ease of mind, as we know what do and know how to deal with the numerous complexities. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights.     

The cruise industry has significantly grown in popularity over the years. With this, however, comes an increase in crime on cruise ships. Crime at sea is now a serious problem. Just recently, near the Bahamas, an 11-year-old female was molested on a Disney Cruise Line (“DCL”) cruise ship when one of DCL’s chefs touched her breast. Stunningly, this crime was not reported until 16 hours after it occurred. This non-reporting occurred despite the requirement for cruise lines to make such reporting. What is more surprising is that, for one, the victim’s grandmother decided that she did not want to press charges on the suspect, and, two, Bahamian authorities did nothing more than fly, free of cost, the suspect back to his home! Justice was certainly not served in this case. Not only was the incident not reported until 16 hours after it took place, but an overlapping of jurisdictions (Bahamas instead of Florida) prevented this suspect from being fully investigated and prosecuted.

It is becoming commonplace that crime victims on cruise are not provided the help they need by the judicial system. With the blatant lack of reporting, despite a high occurrence of crime at sea, the cruise line business appears to be misleading the public. Perhaps this is to keep sales high. If you, or your loved one, are a cruise ship crime victim, it is critical that you hire an attorney. The Miami maritime attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here for you. Our attorneys have plenty of experience filing claims against all major cruise lines. We can provide you an ease of mind, as we know what do and know how to deal with the numerous complexities. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights.  

Serious Problem with Cruise Lines

Earlier this month, Florida Today published a story discussing the recent arrest of a Disney Cruise Line crew member who has been charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of false imprisonment of a 13-year-old female cruise passenger. Our cruise ship lawyers  have been watching this case closely for additional details to emerge. Under federal maritime law, cruise ship companies are subject to strict liability claims for rape, sexual assault and any crime committed by their employees. In other words, cruise ship companies are legally responsible for the criminal acts of their crew members.

Details of this latest crime is still emerging. However, Canaveral Port Authority Police were notified of the allegations shortly after Disney’s Dream cruise ship docked at the terminal following a four-day journey to the Bahamas. Police arrested 36-year-old Ahmed Sofyan, a resident of Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to police, Sofyan lured the minor into an unoccupied cabin and touched her inappropriately. During the encounter, the victim attempted to escape, and even asked to leave several times, but Sofyan wouldn’t let her leave. Sofyan ultimately let the girl go, and when confronted by police, admitted that he knew his conduct was wrong and that the girl was only 13 years old.

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