Articles Tagged with Florida maritime lawyers

Two employees on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were recently arrested after being accused of using sandals to smuggle drugs into Florida. They were bringing drugs into Port Canaveral. One of the two employees was a courier for at least one drug trafficking organization. Police officers began following the employee as he left Port Canaveral and they saw him and another employee smuggling cocaine with the use of sandals. Junior Ellison, 31 years of age, was arrested aboard the cruise ship as he was walking away with the cocaine. It was found that the sandals were purchased from Wal-Mart. It was also later found that each time Ellison left the ship he took a shuttle to a Merritt Island Wal-Mart. Authorities discovered that Ellison would obtain sandals filled with cocaine in St. Maarten and then wear them off the ship.  Ellison would make his trip to Wal-Mart, purchase a new pair of sandals, and then place the cocaine-filled sandals in the Wal-Mart bag to deliver to someone else.         

Many people are victimized when a person, or people, commits the crime of drug trafficking.  Perhaps your money was stolen by a person intending to use it to purchase drugs or paraphernalia. If you are a victim of a crime, it is imperative that you hire an attorney. The experienced Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here for you!

Drug Distribution in Florida

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.     

Over the last year, our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have discussed what appears to be a never-ending string of cruise mishaps, made worse by cruise liners continued policy of denial and concealment of such issues. In March, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas and the Navigator of the Seas had problems returning to port. The Adventure of the Seas lost propulsion after the cruise ship’s “fixipod” leaked oil and barely made it to San Juan and the Navigator of the Seas was unable to make port on time due to an oil spill caused by a collision between a ship and a barge.

Recently, Saga Cruises’ Sapphire cruise liner was left stranded off the Isle of Mull with 1,008 passengers and crew aboard after an electrical fire broke out over the weekend and knocked out the ship’s power supply. In April, the South Korean ferry, Sewol, turned on its side and sank, leaving two-thirds of the 476 passengers dead or missing after the ferry’s captain jumped ship shortly after it began to go down.

Another Recent Mishap

Over the last year, our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have discussed a number of incidents in which cruise ship passengers have been the victim of sexual assault or rape at the hands of crew members or other passengers. Several weeks ago, two U.S. men were accused of raping a female passenger aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Sea, which docked in Jamaica.

In February, we discussed an Inside Edition interview with a young woman who claims that she was held down by two crew members in their cabin and raped repeatedly onboard a Carnival cruise and, in April, we talked about sexual abuse allegations against 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.

Recent Allegations

Over the last year, this blog has discussed on several occasions one of the most prominent problems faced by the cruise industry, onboard outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness. Each year, there are dozens of such outbreaks, including those suffered by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Grandeur of the Seas in April, in which 111 of 2122 (5.23%) passengers and 6 of 790 (0.76%) crew; Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas in January, in which  630 of 3,071 (20.5%) passengers and 54 of 1,166 (4.6%) crew; and the Norwegian Gem in November, in which 111 passengers and 3 crew members (4.55% of the total number of people onboard) reported being ill with symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea. Our maritime attorneys are monitoring this information closely.

According to a recent publication by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) the leading cause of norovirus, a common cause of gastrointestinal illness, is infected food handlers who work while sick and don’t regularly wash their hands. Despite this finding, and common knowledge that cruise ships are essentially floating restaurants, the report inexplicably concluded that one is far more likely to contract the norovirus in a restaurant than on a cruise ship.

The CDC report estimates that 20 million people get sick from norovirus each year, mostly from coming in close contact with infected individuals or by eating contaminated food. The report concluded that cruise ships account for only one percent of reported norovirus cases, while the other 99 percent of cases occur on land. Although this claim appears, on its face, to favor the cruise ship industry, it is likely misleading.