It is really easy to commit malpractice when handling cruise ship injury cases. That’s because the law allows the cruise ship industry to insert contractual limitations in their ticket language. When you read the small print of the twelve pages that accompany the ticket you realize what a legal minefield it is and it’s all legal.
If you accept one of these cases you better be prepared for the fine print provisions. There is an excellent article in the Summer 2011 issue of The Trial Lawyer published by the National Trial Lawyer’s Association. Gerry McGill spells out the things you need to be aware about in simple clear languge in his article entitled Handling Cruise Line Passenger Claims. Among the warnings he points out are the following:
1. While the general maritime statute of limitations is three years, you are required to give notice and details of a claim within 6 months and file within one year if it involves a cruise ship
2. The cruise line has the right to contriol the foruum where you have to sue. The main places are Florida, California and Washington.
3. Cruise ship doctors are independent contactors and the line is not responsible for their actions
4. The cruise line is not responsible for injuries which occur on shore while on a ship organized excursion
5. There is a limitation on how much they owe for liability for baggage and personal belongings
6. The line has the right to change the itinerary any way they want no matter what they advertised
7. The ticket excludes claims from emotional distresss.
8. The line has the right tio search the stateroom, person and personal belongings of passengers at their discretion
9. The line has the right to refuse passenger, to disembark or confine a passenger to their cabin at their discretion.