Every year, a number of Florida residents go on cruises. Fortunately, most cruise ship passengers come back home safely and have had a positive experience. In some cases, however, passengers are injured. If you or a loved one has been injured while on a cruise, you should seek the help of a qualified Miami personal injury attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case. Injured passengers may be able to seek compensation for their injuries if the injury was caused by the cruise line or one of its agents.
In Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that a cruise line could be vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of an on-board medical professional based on agency theory.
The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean for maritime negligence after her father fell and suffered a blow to the head while on board a Royal Caribbean ship. The plaintiff’s father was seen by the onboard nurse and doctor. The ship’s nurse failed to accurately diagnose his head trauma, had him wait for several hours, and then let him go, stating no treatment was needed. The plaintiff’s family called 911 shortly after they realized that the plaintiff’s father’s condition was getting worse. According to the complaint, the cruise ship staff took 20 minutes to transport him to the infirmary and postponed treatment until they received the injured man’s credit card information. Hours later, the ship’s doctor transferred him to a Bermuda hospital, but by then his condition was not treatable. The plaintiff’s father died approximately one week after the injury. Continue reading →