Cruises: ideals of relaxation and enjoyment. Just sailing the seas without a care in the world, with a surplus of food and drinks, seeing a new sunset in a different destination every night. Sounds like a dream vacation, right? That’s what many people believe when they purchase their tickets from one of the countless cruise companies around the world. What they don’t understand is that the purchasing of that ticket constitutes a complicated legal contract, which may not protect them when disaster strikes.
When Disaster Strikes
Tragedy has struck luxury cruise liners in the open ocean throughout all of history, from the Titanic onward. Most recently, in 2012 the Costa Concordia capsized when it hit a coral reef off the coast of Italy. Many were injured, and 32 people lost their lives. In the last three years, two of Carnival Cruise Line’s ships have suffered debilitating power outages, both caused by fires. Both ships carried over 4,000 passengers, and one was stranded for 3 days, while the other was helpless for 8. Loss of power means no air conditioning, no showers, no hot meals, and no working toilets. In 2006, 240 people were injured when the Crown Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, tilted for 30 seconds and then righted itself. The event was blamed on human error. And there are many more cases of individual injuries on cruise lines. There are cases of assault, slips, falling overboard, and pool drownings.
The “Fine Print” on Your Cruise Ship Ticket
What people don’t realize when they are injured on cruise ships is that typical laws and liability rules are not always in effect out on the ocean. The ticket and accompanying documents are treated as a contract between the traveler and the luxury cruise company. Cruise lines are notorious for barring a laundry list of lawsuits in their contracts. For example, some have limits to how much they will pay when sued in instances of death, personal injury, or property loss. Some offer no recoveries for mental anguish or psychological damages. Many prevent class-action suits from being brought against them, meaning that one or more plaintiffs cannot sue on behalf of a larger group. They also dictate where litigation must be brought, and under what laws. Wherever the ship is registered determines which country’s law applies.
Finding the Best Maritime Cruise Ship Lawyer for You
Because maritime law can be so intricate and complex, you need more than the average personal-injury lawyer on your side. You need an attorney well versed in the laws of the sea, with plenty of experience.
Richard Serpe has a Master of Laws in Maritime
Richard Serpe has a Masters Degree (LLM) in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law and is considered an expert in the field by many of his peers. He is more than capable of handling a whole variety of maritime cases, from injured workers at shipyards to injured sailors, or victims of injuries aboard luxury ships. If you or a loved one has been injured in the water or around ships, do not hesitate to contact our firm for exceptional handling of your case.