Getting a Recovery for Injuries on a Cruise Ship; Some New Issues


Here are some issues that we did not address in our previous posts on cruise ship accidents.

I.  Sexual Assault

There have been widely reported incidents where a crew member sexually assaults a female passenger.

Even though an employee’s acts are outside of the scope of employment, the ship can be strictly liable. 

II.  Federal Admiralty Law and State Law

The general maritime law applies to cruise ship injuries.  Federal admiralty law may be applied whether the accident occurred on shore or aboard the vessel (either docked or at sea) as long as it occurs during the course of the cruise.

The general standard of conduct against the ship owner is “reasonable care under the circumstances.” 

Depending upon where the accident occurred, state law may be used to supplement the general maritime law.  For example, if the passenger tripped and fell in the Carnival Ship Terminal in Brooklyn on the way to registering and checking-in, the law of New York would be applicable. 

III.  Releases

Many cruise lines require passengers to sign a release before engaging in a certain activity, such as trap shooting.   The cruise line is prohibited from requiring the passenger to release the owenr from liability for personal injury or death caused by the negligence of the vessel or its crew.  It is also prohibited from having the passenger waive the right to trial by jury.

If you have been injured in a cruise ship accident, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or letters@seitelman.com.

Mark E. Seitelman, 12/22/11, www.seitelman.com.

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