The cruise industry has become a $27 billion business as several lines have made it a form of recreation affordable for hundreds of thousands of middle class families and couples. The demographic has dropped to include every age group; it is no longer a form of recreation reserved for the elderly and well to do. The number of cruise ships in the water has climbed exponentially, with ships cruising on all parts of the globe providing services that continue to grow in popularity.
With the proliferation of vessels, and passengers, and cruise-hours on the water have come injuries to passengers and crew members. The number of personal injury and liability actions filed against cruise lines in the last ten years number in the thousands. One line has an in-house legal team of nine attorneys just to handle the pre-trial work. Cruise liners have taken several actions to try and reduce the number of lawsuits. One condition of a ticket purchase is that any legal action taken must be filed in the location where the ticket is sold. For that reason most suits were filed in Miami for years until cruise lines began moving offices elsewhere.
The expansion of the industry has seen a corresponding drop in the quality of onboard staff and in some cases, in the observance of safety measures. A ship with over two thousand passengers functions as a small, crowded municipality and where there are crowds, there are going to be accidents. That’s why firms like Carnival Cruises find it necessary to maintain substantial in-house legal staffs.
There has also been a massive fraud perpetrated on cruise ship patrons by a self-styled art auction firm called Park West. This firm conducted art auctions on board ships operated by several cruise lines selling Salvadore Dali prints ostensibly signed by the artist and other works that were represented as having high collectible value. The art work sold by Park West has essentially been proven fraudulent in court and a number of class action suits have been filed against Park West, Carnival Cruises and other lines that allowed the auctions to occur on board their ships.
The cruise industry offers some wonderful recreation opportunities but the safety of the cruises themselves not to mention the integrity of the management has been called into question on countless occasions in the form of lawsuits for damages. If you have been injured as a passenger or an employee of a cruise ship you may be entitled to compensation. If you purchased works represented to you as collectible art on board a cruise liner you almost certainly are entitled to compensation.
Contact us and we will review your case with you at no charge. There is a large body of law regarding cruise line cases today as the result of all the cases that have been filed. We are familiar with the history and the nuances of cruise ship damage suits.