Special Considerations for Cruise Ship Passenger Accidents

The Port of Miami is one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the world. Thousands of passengers from around the world sail from its docks weekly. Many of these passengers become victims of cruise ship negligence, from food poisoning, to slipping and falling, to onboard sexual molestation. For those individuals thinking of bringing suit against any of the various Miami-based cruise line companies, the following basic considerations must be taken into account:

  1. The target defendant must be given written notice within six (6) months of the accident. This requirement will be contained in small print on the back of the cruise ticket. Failure to give this notice will bar further action against the ship owner. Given the harshness of this rule, it is advisable to send the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. Better to be safe than sorry.
  2. The lawsuit must be filed within one (1) year of the accident. This requirement will also be contained in fine print on the back of the cruise ticket. It is enforceable. Many lawyers unfamiliar with this requirement have mistakenly concluded that Florida’s four year statute of limitations for negligence cases applies. It does not.
  3. Regardless of where the accident happens or where the victim resides, the venue of the case will be In Miami, Florida and the court with jurisdiction over the cause of action will be the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. We recently settled a case against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines involving an accident on the high seas involving a gentleman from Terra Haute, Indiana. The lawsuit had to be filed in the Federal Court in Miami.

Cruise ship negligence cases can be a trap for the unwary. This is a specialized area of law and a specialist should be consulted to handle the case.

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Contact us at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.

Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.