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.
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.