Cruise Ship Crime Statistics and Crime Prevention

We live in an era of instant information. With a simple click we can instantly find a recipe for apple pie or learn Babe Ruth’s lifetime batting average. (It was .342)
In certain instances, like finding information about the cruise ship business, it is difficult to obtain accurate data. The global nature of their ownership and the fact that they operate in international waters makes it difficult.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has long been the leading legal resource in Florida for people who suffer injuries or loss due to negligence, or are victims of crimes committed aboard a cruise ship. Attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus are experts in maritime & international law and have the experience to protect the rights of victims and seek compensation for damages in this complex legal arena.

Everyone knows the best medicine is preventive medicine, and that concept of prevention should pertain to crime as well. The website has prepared a common sense guide to Cruise Ship Security, and the main topics include:

• Beware of Your Luggage • Cabin Security • Stay in Public Areas • Have a Family Security Plan • Laws May Not Protect You

This is an excellent reference to read and follow if you are going on a cruise – the full text is here. Crime Doctor

Crime statistics for cruise ships are gathered by our own Coast Guard, and are as accurate as possible.

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010 prescribes security and safety requirements for most cruise ships that embark and disembark in the United States. The Act mandates that reports of criminal activity be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Per the Act, the U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for posting via internet portal cruise line reporting statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

U.S. Coast Guard crime reports are available here. US Coast Guard

Five sexual assault cases are quite disturbing, and note that only thefts over $10,000 are reported, so it seems reasonable to assume that many small thefts occur. Vigilance and common sense apply when preventing theft of personal property.

Overall, cruise ships are great places to take a vacation and we never intend to frighten people away from enjoying trips at sea. We are concerned about traveler safety, and this is why we are proud to be a resource for information that will keep passengers safe. Cruise ship owners and operators must make every effort to insure their vessels are safe.

Pharmacy Negligence in Florida

Florida Pharmacy Negligence AttorneysWhen it comes to medical malpractice, most people think only of lawsuits against doctors and hospitals accused of failing to provide proper care. A significant, but largely unrecognized, health care provider who plays a big role in ensuring or harming patients’ health is the pharmacist.

Most mistakes made by a pharmacy or by an individual pharmacist may be minor and cause little or no harm. Sometimes they are serious and cause severe, sometimes fatal consequences.

When these errors occur it is very important that the victim understands he or she has rights. Most often, errors that occur with regard to prescription medication are unintentional. Pharmacies are busy places, and the ever-expanding competition and number of drugs only makes errors more likely.

Florida Pharmacy Negligence Attorneys

With all of the possible places that a pharmacist might misstep, it is not surprising that pharmacy errors are a huge contributor to adverse health outcomes. Nearly 1.5 million Americans suffer from pharmacy medication errors each year and as we become more dependent on medications it is reasonable to believe those numbers will increase.

In Florida the number of pharmacies and pharmacists has kept pace with the explosive growth of population. Currently there are 19,324 registered pharmacies and 41,889 registered pharmacists. The population of Florida is currently about 19.5 million, so that is one pharmacist for every 465 people. Pharmacists in Florida are licensed and registered with the State, and you can verify a pharmacy or pharmacist online @

Lawsuits against negligent or irresponsible pharmacists are very specialized legal matters, and there are relatively few attorneys who handle these cases. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has, for many years, successfully represented clients who have suffered prescription drug related damages.

What exactly is pharmacy malpractice, and how prevalent is it?

Pharmacists have a responsibility to make sure every patient receives the correct medications and is informed how to properly use the drugs. In many instances the pharmacist dispensing the medication is the only health care provider who has access to the patient’s complete treatment history, all the information on a drug’s potential side effects and interactions and access to the patient immediately before he or she takes the medication. That “last line of defense” role is especially important because pharmacists should be able to counsel and, when necessary, train patients on how to properly take the medication.

Negligence in Compounding Medications
While the days of pharmacists actually producing most of the medications you need are gone, some dosage forms can only be made in pharmacies. This is especially true for liquid medications, when pharmacists have to prepare I.V. bags or make an elixir out of drug that usually comes in pill or capsule form. Such reconstituting can be error-prone, and pharmacists who mix or compound medication incorrectly can be liable for negligence.

Negligence in Dispensing Medications
This is the case of the pharmacist simply handing you the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of the correct medication or the right drug with the wrong label containing incorrect instruction on when and how to take it.

Negligence in Supervision
Pharmacists in busy practices may rely on pharmacy technicians and assistants to fill prescription orders and hand drugs to patients. While those individuals have training, nothing can replace the knowledge and experience of a pharmacist, and they must be supervised at all times. Failure to provide adequate supervision to pharmacy staff can constitute negligence by a pharmacist.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sickness, injury, or death because of a pharmacy or pharmacist mistake, you should contact the office of Gary and Arleen Lazarus, expert attorneys in this field. They can be reached at 954-356-0006

Near-Drowning Raises Cruise Ship Safety Concerns

A tragic near-drowning incident this past weekend aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has left a 4-year-old boy in critical condition at a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hospital. While the event is still being investigated, it is important to note that most cruise ships do not have lifeguards on duty and that personal safety on a cruise ship is not guaranteed.

Unfortunately, this tragedy follows other drowning and near-drowning incidents which have occurred on cruise ships in recent years.

News reports are @ the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.

People on vacation at sea are understandably relaxed and looking forward to having fun. It is reasonable and proper for passengers to assume that a large cruise liner owned by a multi-billion-dollar corporation would place passenger safety above everything else, but that is not always the case. Media reports concerning accidents, crimes committed by passengers and crew, medical malpractice by ship medical staff, food poisoning, and illnesses caused by germs & viruses aboard cruise ships are common.

Forbes magazine reported in April, 2014 on 8 separate virus outbreaks aboard cruise ships in just 3 months. Market Watch published a list of “10 Things Cruise Lines Won’t Tell You” that may interest future cruise passengers. While we do not intend to frighten people who are considering a trip on a cruise ship, we are concerned about passenger rights and the major cruise line corporation’s commitment to and responsibility for safety.

Laws governing responsibility for incidents that occur at sea are complex and ever-changing, so there are not many lawyers who are experts in this area. International law, maritime law, U.S. laws, and local laws can combine to create a hodgepodge of different jurisdictions that would confuse almost anyone. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has reserved and maintains a special part of their practice to represent and protect the rights of victims who suffer injury, harm, or death aboard cruise ships.

Passengers have a reasonable expectation to be safe when traveling on cruise ships. If you or someone you know has been injured or harmed in any way while on a cruise, it is important to understand that victims have rights. The attorneys at Lazarus and Lazarus have been handling these cases for many years, and they are available to listen to your story and take appropriate action when you contact them at 954-356-0006.

You May Delay, but Time Will Not – Time Limit Statutes

Statutes of Limitations – Personal Injury and Malpractice Cases
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
Each state has different laws regarding the limitations on time for filing legal actions. Most of these are state statutes and are available online, but they are very complex and may leave even the brightest and most-educated reader bewildered and befuddled. Attempts to file an action after the expiration of time-limiting statutes are most likely doomed, so it’s very important to know and follow the law.

Chapter 95 of the State of Florida Statutes covers the “limitations of actions” and is an integral element of your case if you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or of professional malpractice.

The statute sets forth different time periods for different situations, for example:
Within Twenty Years: An action on a judgment or decree of a court of record in this state.
This means, for example, if you have a judgment against someone for money they owe you, you would be wise to enforce and collect before 20 years goes by. If not, the judgment is no longer valid.

Within Five Years: An action on a judgment or decree of any court, not of record, of this state or any court of the United States, any other state or territory in the United States, or a foreign country.

The section that pertains to negligence states, in part:

Within Four Years: An action founded on negligence.

And the section covering professional malpractice states, in part:

Within Two Years: (a) An action for professional malpractice, other than medical malpractice, whether founded on contract or tort; provided that the period of limitations shall run from the time the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. However, the limitation of actions herein for professional malpractice shall be limited to persons in privity with the professional. And (b) An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. The entire statute is here: Florida Statute 95

To a non-attorney, this is can be confusing. The critical lesson here is that if you have been the victim of negligence or professional malpractice it is important to have consulted with an attorney who understands and practices the pertaining statutes on a daily basis and who has a successful track record.

The Law firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been successfully representing clients who are victims of negligence by others. Gary and Arleen Lazarus are eminently qualified to deal with your case in a professional and timely manner. They may be reached by calling 954-356-0006.