Pitfalls for Passengers (post-COVID and otherwise):
Disney Cruise Lines re-opens June 26 with all major cruise lines to follow.
Beware of injuries on Inaugural cruises. . . the cruise industry is re opening with a fury. There is no certainty on how they will handle COVID, or how well their reinstated crew is trained. Remember, even before COVID, numerous cases of Norovirus were reported annually as ships came to port. So, Sanitation and safety issues must be paramount along with crowd control and CDC compliance. Will your co-passengers be vaccinated? Are you willing to spend days or weeks with those likely to spread the virus? Or, worse yet, confined in a ship’s infirmary?
One of the most powerful and sought after travel industries, serving millions of Americans and foreign visitors is on the threshold of reopening. All of the major cruise lines report very high future bookings and exuberance from passengers who have been “locked down” for the past 15 months. As in the past, there are certain pitfalls, dangers and injury threatening activities passengers must be mindful of. Beware that the re-opening crew may be new and inexperienced or otherwise untrained to handle the everyday activities associated with cruising. Onboard injuries with defective equipment, slip and falls, unattended decks with liquid spillage, as well as unrepaired or unnoticed defective equipment and surfaces may be expected. Tens of thousands of passengers are seriously injured every year by lack of proper inspection and maintenance of cruise ship surfaces.
Traditional passenger injuries and losses may be enhanced, depending on crew training, as well as physical inspections and repairs to the ship. Examples of past cases include:
- $350,000 settlement for head and neck injury from a slip and fall on ship’s slippery floor
- $425,000 recovery for passenger struck in the eye by a golf ball when it rebounded off an uneven surface in the driving range netting/cage
- $235,000 award for slip and fall resulting in hip fracture.
A number of sexual assaults and actionable incidents reported by cruises stem from crew activities and uncontrolled passengers. Government records are kept of reported incidents Alcohol plays a role in many of these cases. While the cruise ship industry encourages and profits from alcohol use, it also produces inappropriate, illegal and uncontrollable behavior by both crew and passengers.
- Our firm recovered $1.5 million for a cruise ship passenger after a sexual assault
Shore excursions continue to bring perilous activities and this is especially so, after a 15- month shut down.
Cruise line shore excursions don’t necessarily take proper care and due diligence for the activities you are about to embark upon. Each year, hundreds of unknowing cruise passengers are seriously or fatally injured by hyper dangerous, enticing activities that are unsafe and inappropriate for many passengers. Stay diligent, “don’t sail on cruise control.” Stay alert, aware and sober.
The law firm of Leesfield Scolaro has represented passengers from all over the world who have lost loved ones and family members to poorly designed and misrepresented shore excursion activities, such as the following:
- $4.65 million permanent brain injury award for parasailing accident
- $3 million wrongful death recovery for parents of special needs man killed in excursion bus rollover
- $2.6 million wrongful death recovery for parasailing accident
- Confidential wrongful death award for diving excursion accident
- $1.25 million recovery for shore excursion Unimog rollover causing severe injuries to numerous cruise ship passengers.
Likewise, our law firm has won record-setting verdicts and settlements for medically impaired passengers in need of timely evacuation, which was refused by the cruise line and to save them time, money and inconvenience. Be sure to purchase travel and evacuation insurance.
- $4 million cruise ship medical negligence settlement for passenger who suffered massive stroke
- $3.337 million recovery for crew member as a result of cruise ship’s failure to provide adequate medical care
- $400,000 settlement for passenger who was denied evacuation after suffering ischemic stroke.
Leesfield Scolaro has forged a leadership role in handling the most diverse number of medical negligence cruise ship cases in the country and the world.
Injuries onboard are daily occurrences due to negligent maintenance of decks and common areas. These incidents are regularly brought to Leesfield Scolaro, including:
- $2.5 million recovery for severe brain injury to minor child from slip and fall in ship’s basketball court
- $1 million recovery for hip fracture from slip and fall on lido deck
- $500,000 settlement for kneecap fracture after slipping on wet dance floor
- $350,000 award for fall due to poorly lit area resulting in knee reconstructive surgery (2021)
- $300,000 settlement for severe knee injury requiring surgery due to a fall on extraordinarily slippery area onboard (2021)
According to Founding Partner Ira Leesfield, cruise line re-opening will be exciting and noteworthy, but please realize that you may be the test case for reopening procedures, and your cruise adventure vulnerability could be higher than usual.
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Ira H. Leesfield