NBC recently featured attorneys Thomas Scolaro and Adam Rose for their latest lawsuit against Royal Caribbean on behalf of Phoebe Moon and her parents. The nine-month-old Phoebe Moon was amputated as a result of Royal Caribbean’s doctors’ negligence who missed clear signs of meningococcocal meningitis infection. After sending the parents back to their cabin five times without affording any care to their baby, the doctors reluctantly allowed the family to go off-shore for a medical consult. The local emergency doctors diagnosed Phoebe with meningitis at first glance and they went to work on her immediately. They later told the Moons that Phoebe was minutes away from losing her life.
On Monday during a shore excursion sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, 32 passengers became injured when their tour bus wrecked on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. The circumstances around the incident itself are still under investigation, however it was confirmed that this was a single-vehicle accident.
Last year, Leesfield Scolaro represented a large group of people in a lawsuit against Carnival after their Bahamas tour bus flipped over which caused injuries ranging from superficial to life-altering. That incident, along with many other incidents involving shore excursion tour buses, was caused by an inexperienced and unlicensed driver, which both the tour operator and the cruise line had failed to vet, placing passengers’ lives at risk. The police investigation, supported by forensic evidence, showed that the bus driver was speeding on a dirt road. The reckless operator lost control of the vehicle, and it ultimately flipped over, throwing out many passengers in the process.
For over two decades, Leesfield Scolaro has litigated countless cases against the major cruise lines due to their negligence – often times indefensible disregard toward their passengers’ safety – in selecting and vetting safe shore excursion operators and equipment. Attorneys Ira H. Leesfield and Adam T. Rose recently explained in an article how to hold Cruise Lines liable for injuries sustained during shore excursions, regardless of the fact that Cruise Lines will fight vigorously to avoid liability and hide under the “independent operator” table.
Last March, we reported on the arrest of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Assistant Cruise Director, Senad Djedovic. Last week, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Djedovic to 9 years in federal prison.
The details of the alleged crimes were discussed in detail in our previous article: Norwegian Cruise Line’s crewmember arrested after having sex with 16-year-old female passenger
Facing mounting evidence, Djedovic plead guilty to possessing child pornography last Summer. Investigators discovered photos and videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit acts on Djedovic’s computers. Among them were approximately 20 photos sent by a 16-year-old female passenger whom Djedovic met on the Norwegian Star, a cruise ship Djedovic was assigned to as the Assistant Cruise Director.
Last May in Court, he admitted to having engaged in sexual acts with the minor girl while on the ship and to having exchanged explicit photos with her after the cruise. In his plea agreement, Djedovic declared that he knew the girl was 16-years-old and underage.
Ultimately, this crime and criminal would never have been discovered or prosecuted had Djedovic himself not bragged about it. Days after the cruise was over, Djedovic began talking about what he did to and in front of other crew-members, even showing to some of them the photos he had received from the minor passenger. One of the crew-members alerted the authorities and Djedovic was arrested shortly thereafter by the FBI.
Sex crimes aboard cruise ships are becoming more and more frequent and the prosecution of individuals who engage in sexual acts with minor passengers are prosecuted more and more often. This latest case is however very troubling because the criminal involved was a cruise employee. Djedovic was employed by Norwegian Cruise Lines from 2006 through 2012, until he was arrested.
Fabian Palmer, a 25 year-old from Jamaica, found himself working on the Enchantment of the Seas, a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean. During a Christmas cruise, Palmer, who was assigned to maintaining the vessel’s pool areas, befriended a young girl, age 14.
We reported on the sordid events in a previous article here: Another Crew Member Pleads Guilty to Sexual Rape Charges of Minor Passenger on Royal Caribbean Cruise
For several days, Palmer would leave written notes to the minor girl, until the night of December 23, 2011. That night, Palmer took the child into a bathroom located inside a male locker room. He locked the doors behind them and despite the girl’s protests, performed multiple sexual acts. The FBI came into possession of video surveillance footage that showed Palmer lead the child in the male locker room and in one of the bathrooms.