Cruise Ship Accidents


I have helped get compensation for New York residents who incurred cruise ship accidents on cruises that left out of Miami.  All of them were very surprised to find out that suit had to be filed in Miami, even though the tickets were purchased in New York.

This very issue, where one can sue for a cruise ship accident, has actually gone all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case, wrongly I believe, that makes it much harder for those injured on cruise ships to attain justice.  The case is Shute v. Carnival.  The Shute family bought their cruise ticket in Oregon, and then cruised from California to Florida.  A member of the Shute family sustained an injury in international waters off the Mexican coast.

The Shutes initially brought suit in Oregon and Carnival moved to dismiss their case because it did not comply with the venue selection clause on the back of the ticket.  The fine print on the back of the ticket that no one reads is actually important.  This clause stated that any suit had to be brought in Miami-Dade County, Florida.  The Shutes’ lawyer argued that this was quite burdensome.  Why should someone who bought a ticket in another state have to travel to Florida for depositions, a medical exam, and perhaps a trial?  After all, Carnival had marketed the ticket in their state.

Unfortunately for those injured on cruises, the Supreme Court gave a gift to the cruise industry.  Regardless of how heavily the marketing occurred in your state, if you are injured on a cruise, you can only bring suit in the venue that has been previously selected by the cruise industry.  This has the effect of making it harder for people to sue.  Injured people will have to travel to Florida for depositions, and perhaps even a trial.  Also, the cruise ship company gets the home court advantage.

Anytime I have been approached about a cruise ship accident, I partner with a Florida attorney.  Having grown up in Florida, I have close friends in Florida who have also gone on to law school and handle injury cases.  These friends have become experts in the field of cruise accident law and have gotten very large settlements for people who have been injured on cruises.

Common cruise ship accidents include slips and falls, trips and falls, assaults by fellow passengers or crew members and infectious diseases such as Legionnaires’ disease.  While the Supreme Court unfortunately sided with the cruise industry, the law is the law, and there’s no way around it.  If you’re injured on a cruise, it’s imperative you speak with an experienced cruise injury lawyer immediately.  In addition to the venue selection clause, cruise ticket language often gives strict filing deadlines.  Call the Law Team at 212-363-HURT to reach an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer today.

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About Matthew Haicken

I have been practicing personal injury and insurance law since my graduation from law school in 2007. In addition to years as a practicing lawyer, I also spent three years working at a large insurance company where I worked with excellent lawyers from around the country. This experience has proven invaluable. I gained insight into how insurance companies evaluate claims, and I learned the tactics they employ to fight personal injury lawsuits. I enjoy helping people through difficult situations and making a positive impact on the lives of my clients. When not practicing law, I am actively involved in NYSTLA, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. We are a group that lobbies on behalf of injury victims. I believe the courthouse doors should be open to everyone, regardless of his or her immigration status, or financial situation. I am committed to fighting for a strong civil justice system that enables people who have been harmed to hold wrongdoers accountable.

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