Is the cruise line responsible for my injuries?

Do I Really Have a Case?

“Can I sue the cruise line for my injuries?” It’s a question we’re asked every day. The answer is, “it depends.” Not every accident that happens on a cruise ship is the fault of the cruise line or its employees. But some are.

If you get hurt while on a cruise and are hoping to be compensated for your injuries, you will have to prove that the negligent actions of the cruise line or its crewmembers were to blame for your injuries. If so, the cruise line may be responsible.

Decision Allows for Medical Malpractice Claims Against Cruise Lines Waks and Barnett, P.A. Case Results in Major Victory for Passengers Harmed by Negligence of Cruise Ship Doctors In an opinion published Nov. 10, 2014 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, cruise lines can now be held vicariously liable when the negligence of the ship’s doctors, nurses and other medical staff, causes harm to their passengers. For over 25 years, however, this was not the case as cruise lines and their owners were protected from medical malpractice claims by the prevailing law, referred to as the ‘Barbetta rule’ (Barbetta v. S/S Bermuda Star). Under the old law, cruise lines had broad immunity “no matter how clear the shipowner’s control over its medical staff or how egregious the claimed acts of negligence.” Patricia Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Rejects Barbetta Rule Waks & Barnett, P.A. was retained by the family of Pasquale Vaglio, who suffered a head injury while the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas, was docked in Bermuda. He later died as a result of the injury. In the complaint filed on behalf of the personal representative of Mr. Vaglio’s estate, his daughter, Patricia Franza, Waks & Barnett, P.A. alleged that Mr. Vaglio’s death was caused by the negligent care and treatment he received in the ship’s infirmary. The trial judge dismissed the complaint based upon the longstanding ‘Barbetta rule’, immunizing the cruise lines from liability to passengers for the negligence of its medical staff. An appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was filed. Appellate Counsel Philip Parrish was retained to handle all aspects of the appeal. The opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejects the ‘Barbetta rule’ The ongoing efforts of attorneys Andrew Waks and Joel Barnett, of the Miami-based cruise ship injury law firm Waks and Barnett, P.A., and Philip Parrish, were instrumental in obtaining this result, which represents a major victory for injured cruise line passengers. Opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit A three-judge panel of the appellate court reinstated the claims against the cruise line in a unanimous ruling, rejecting Barbetta. “Much has changed in the quarter-century since Barbetta,” said the decision. “As we see it, the evolution of legal norms, the rise of a complex cruise industry, and the progression of medical technology have erased whatever utility the ‘Barbetta rule’ may once have had. We thus decline to adopt the ‘Barbetta rule’, and find that the complaint in this case plausibly establishes a claim against Royal Caribbean,” said the ruling, in remanding the case for further proceedings. Read the Entire Opinion of the Eleventh Circuit Court Here: 63 page opinion, from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Franza v. Royal Caribbean. If you have concerns or questions regarding a Royal Caribbean cruise ship accident, please contact our law firm today today.


We're Ready to Help After Your Cruise Ship Injury

At Waks and Barnett, P.A., we make it a point to devote our full attention and resources to each of our clients. That begins with the first phone call and carries through until your case is resolved. This is the approach we’ve taken for over 35 years and across thousands of personal injury cases.

Our clients, who are often the victims of terrible accidents or utter negligence by the cruise lines, benefit from our dedication to their cases and the compassion and understanding we provide to them.

With our meticulous approach to casework and extensive experience dealing with personal injury claims – especially as it relates to maritime and cruise injury law – we can help you resolve your case in the most effective manner possible.

WE'll help you figure it out

What does it take to sue a Cruise Line?

When you contact our firm, we’ll spend time with you to better understand the details of your injury so we can determine if you have a case.

Some of those questions we will ask you include:

  • How did the accident happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • What happened after the accident?
  • Who was involved?
  • What is the extent of your injury?
  • What treatment have you had so far and what future medical needs do you have?

These are just a few of the many questions we’ll ask. And remember, we’re here to answer your questions too. Together we can work through the specific details of your case.

If we determine you have the ability to file a lawsuit against the cruise line, we can represent you during the entire legal process. That means we’ll deal with the paperwork, the phone calls, the insurance claim adjustors, the cruise line representatives and all of the other details involved.

For more than 35 years, we’ve helped thousands of injured passengers receive the financial compensation they’ve deserved. It all starts with an initial call to determine ‘what happened’.

We handle all injury case types:

  • All types of slip and fall accidents
  • Broken bones and internal injuries
  • Head, neck and back injuries
  • Injuries due to medical negligence and misdiagnosis
  • Sexual assault, harassment and rape claims
  • Crew member accidents and injury claims
  • And many other cruise accidents

If you believe you have a claim against a cruise line – or if you’re not sure and just need to speak with an attorney to find out more – we can help you.


Thank You for Considering Our Firm

Working with a cruise line to file an injury claim can be a complicated and frustrating process, especially when you try to do it alone. The best results generally come when an injured passenger hires a lawyer to help with their case. We help passengers by representing them, by using our knowledge of the laws and regulations surrounding cruise injury claims and by utilizing our specific experience dealing with cruise ship accidents

Many passengers don’t even realize they can sue a cruise line until the talk with a lawyer. We are available for consultation regarding personal injury claims and will speak with you even if you are unsure about whether you have a valid claim or not.

Thank you for considering Waks and Barnett, P.A. We’re here to help when you need.

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