When you planned your vacation, the last thing you thought about was suffering an injury or illness while on a cruise. Chances are, if you suffered food poisoning, illness because of fumes or you were injured due to a fall on an unsafe/wet deck, there are others who were on the cruise that had the same problem. In these cases, it is generally a good idea to file a class action suit so each person has the same attorney and can fight the case on behalf of everyone who was injured or suffered an illness.
Cruise Lines Seek Protection
Cruise lines attempt to limit their liability. If you look on the back of the ticket you purchased, you’ll find various clauses which are designed to limit your options to hold the carrier liable for your illness, injuries and even mental distress. You may also find a section that tells you how and when a dispute may be settled between yourself and the cruise line. This can be problematic.
Under maritime law, you are allowed as long as three years to file a suit for injury or illness. However, your ticket may be attempting to limit the amount of time; too often to as little as several days after your cruise is completed. The courts have deemed all of these restrictions; both venue and time are perfectly legal.
Determining Liability for Class Action Suits
Class action lawsuits are filed when a group of people have the same grounds for filing a lawsuit. In the case of cruise ships, suits may be filed for:
- Dangerous weather conditions – when a ship’s operator ignored bad weather warnings and as a result numerous passengers on the cruise line are injured, there may be grounds for a class action suit.
- Food-borne illness – the cruise line is responsible for ensuring the food you eat on a cruise is safe for consumption. If several passengers suffer food poisoning, this may be a result of unsafe handling and could be grounds for a suit.
- Toxic fumes/materials – if a cruise line is carrying materials that emit hazardous fumes, passengers could suffer serious respiratory issues or headaches. Failure to disclose these dangers could be grounds for filing a suit.
If you and a group of friends had your vacation ruined due to a preventable injury or illness caused by the negligence of the crew or operator of a cruise line, contact Stephen D. Field, P.A. at (305) 798-1335 and discuss your options for filing a class action lawsuit.