Many passengers across the country and the world take cruises as a leisurely way to see the world. Unfortunately, life follows us onto these vessels, and when injury or illness strikes, cruise ships are duty-bound to act to ensure that their passengers receive the care that their condition requires.
When cruise lines fail to take these measures, either negligently, recklessly, or deliberately, they incur liability for the consequences of the passenger not receiving the care that they need when they need it. This liability could translate into economic, noneconomic, and even punitive damages in a lawsuit.
To discuss the opportunity to file a lawsuit for the consequences of a cruise ship’s failure to evacuate you or a loved one suffering from injury or illness, reach out to Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. as soon as possible. Get started the right way with a free initial case assessment when you call us at (305) 204-5369.
Liability of a Cruise Line for Failing to Evacuate an Injured Passenger
Cruise lines owe legal duties to their passengers to take special care to minimize harm while on the vessel. A failure to adequately address medical emergencies in a reasonable, appropriate, and effective way could create liability for the cruise line should their behavior be shown to have exacerbated the passenger’s condition.
This is particularly important in situations where the medical treatment capabilities on board the vessel will be insufficient to treat the passenger’s condition. Cruise lines are required to have medical personnel on board to provide medical care should an emergent situation arise, but these capabilities are naturally limited, and may not suffice. In these cases, the cruise ship operator is obligated by their duty to the passenger to arrange for evacuation to port where they can receive thorough medical treatment as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, there are some circumstances where the cruise line will instead choose to continue on their path without disruption, leaving the passenger stranded on the ship until the next opportunity for disembarkation arises. If a cruise line fails to recognize the immediacy of the passenger’s health needs and adjust their course to account for the emergency, the passenger can sue the cruise line for the consequences of their decision on their health.
Failure to Evacuate in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise ships were one of the most dangerous places to be. The ability of the virus to rapidly spread throughout the ship posed an immediate danger to both passengers and crew aboard a cruise liner. Cruise liners chose to respond to these issues in a variety of ways, some of which may have constituted negligence.
One example was the Costa Luminosa, which set forth on its course across the Atlantic Ocean despite three people on board the ship having tested positive for COVID-19 before departure. This left the remaining passengers and crewmembers stuck on board the ship for seven days with no way to escape to safety. The Costa Luminosa also delayed over a week in instituting sanitary protocols to dull the spread of the virus. Ultimately, nearly 50 people on board the vessel tested positive for the virus, with at least 10 needing to be hospitalized. Unfortunately, three people who were on board the Costa Luminosa ultimately died from complications stemming from COVID-19.
Costa Luminosa is not the only cruise liner facing scrutiny for their immediate response to a COVID-19 outbreak on board. If you or a loved one contracted COVID-19 or another disease while on a cruise ship and received substandard treatment from the cruise liner, you may have legal options to recover compensation.
Damages Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Failure to Evacuate an Injured Cruise Ship Passenger
If the cruise liner’s negligence caused the exacerbation of your condition when you were denied proper evacuation and treatment, you can recover damages through a lawsuit against the cruise liner. These damages are based on both your personal and financial harms. If a court finds that the cruise liner’s actions were highly reckless or intentionally harmful, they could also assess punitive damages.
Economic damages include all of the direct financial losses that the passenger suffered as a result of the cruise liner’s negligent failure to evacuate them. Typically, these damages are made up primarily of the cost of the subsequent medical treatment and follow-up that the passenger required to treat their condition. If the cruise liner’s negligence caused you a prolonged recovery period or exacerbated your condition to the point that it will affect you indefinitely, you can sue them for your lost income and depreciated earning capacity, which are included within economic damages.
Being trapped at sea without the medical assistance that you require can be traumatizing. Courts recognize this, which is why they may award compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering. Both the experience itself and the consequences of the victim’s resulting condition can cause psychological distress that can impact personal relationships and the ability to enjoy life as the victim had previously. Chronic pain from injuries that did not receive immediate medical treatment can also plague a victim for years to come. To find out what compensation through damages looks like in your case, contact an attorney for failure to evacuate an injured cruise ship passenger as soon as possible.
Cruise ship lines are massive operations that often put profits ahead of their passengers’ well-being. If the injury victim and their attorney can demonstrate that the cruise line administration recklessly or intentionally disregarded their health concerns, the court may decide to award additional punitive damages, which are meant to punish the cruise line for their behavior and dissuade others from behaving this way in the future.
Talk to an Attorney for Failure to Evacuate an Injured Cruise Ship Passenger Today
To schedule your free initial case assessment for no charge today, reach out to the lawyers for failure to evacuate an injured cruise ship passenger at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. as soon as possible by calling (305) 204-5369.