For far too long, cruise lines have been able to dodge their medical responsibilities. With all the technicalities surrounding maritime law and the different legal systems that cruise ships operate under, cruises have been shielded from certain medical obligations that would apply to any typical American vacation facility. Now, things are finally changing.
Unfortunately, it took the tragic death of a cruise passenger for these changes to come about. According to the Huffington Post, the passenger reportedly fell onboard a Royal Caribbean ship while it was docked. While receiving care in the ship’s medical facilities, he fell into a coma and later died as a result of negligent care. The victim’s daughter brought the matter to court, and after one court initially dismissed the lawsuit, an appellate court determined to hold the cruise line “vicariously liable” for the death.
Medical Malpractice in Florida
Although cruise ship medical facilities are functional, and they are only improving with time, doctors and caregivers on board cruise ships can still make mistakes.Click To Tweet When they do, they need to be held responsible. To excuse cruise lines of their negligence is not only unfair to the victims, but is dishonest and unfair to the entire public. Especially because ignoring problems often allows them to continue.
The state of Florida takes medical malpractice cases very seriously. In hospitals and other health care centers, caregivers are expected to act in “reasonably prudent” ways. If caregivers fail to act with reasonable prudence, the facility could be sued and held liable for malpractice.
Why should injuries sustained aboard a cruise ship be any different? Aboard a cruise ship, health care providers can still act negligently, and if they do, they must be held accountable. Now, thanks to the United States Appellate Court’s ruling against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, maybe they will be.
A Victory for Cruise Passengers
Although the Royal Caribbean lawsuit initially looked like it was going to be another loss after the first court dismissed the case, it turned out to be a victory. It is a victory not only for the family involved, but also for all individuals injured on board cruise ships both now and in the future. Hopefully, this ruling will send a strong message to all cruise lines that they have an obligation to their passengers and their safety, so that they will no longer be permitted to dole out subpar care and hide behind the fact that they are not held to the same health standards as facilities in the United States.
If you’ve been injured on a cruise ship, your time for justice could be right around the corner. This lawsuit against Royal Caribbean sets a precedent that other lawsuits can follow, which means that a qualified lawyer may be able to put together a strong defense in your favor, no matter what type of injuries you sustained.
Bear in mind that cruise ship accidents don’t have to be fatal. You could be injured in a number of ways, including:
- Falling ill as a result of food poisoning
- Injuries sustained during a shore excursion
- Catching a disease spread from other passengers
- Falling on board the ship
Any of these injuries may start out as minor incidents, but with improper medical care, they can quickly elevate to be serious or even life threatening. If you sustained serious injury or illness on board a cruise ship, you deserve justice. And now is a better time than ever to seek it out.
If you have experienced negligent medical care on a cruise ship, don’t let the cruise line evade their share of the responsibility. Fight for the justice that you deserve by contacting an experienced attorney today.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of The Law Office of Andrew Winston. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”