Harmed by Medical Negligence While on a Cruise?
International Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers Represent Medical Malpractice Claims
The attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson have a reputation for taking on large, complex cases that many other firms do not have the time, resources and staff to handle. As a result, our attorneys have obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Florida and the nation. We have represented claims involving injury and wrongful death throughout the U.S. and South America as well as cases in Africa and Europe. This includes devastating aviation accidents and cruise ship injuries.
Cruise lines have a responsibility to provide safe accommodations and services for passengers and staff alike. This responsibility extends to providing competent medical care, especially since those aboard have no access to hospitals on land for most of the trip. However, poor hiring practices potentially combined with lack of training and supervision can result in medical negligence, causing further injuries to those seeking treatment during a trip. Cruise lines may attempt to deny responsibility by claiming that doctors and nurses are independent contractors. Our cruise ship injury lawyers have had success in challenging these kinds of denials. We can assist you in holding the cruise line and any other liable party accountable for your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death due to medical malpractice.
Our Recognized Lawyers’ Experience with International Medical Negligence Cases
Our cruise injury attorneys have a history of success representing victims of medical malpractice on commercial cruises. In one case, our client was a 31-year-old chef working aboard a ship for Celebrity Cruises. During one trip, he began experiencing severe headaches and facial pain. Rather than treating him onboard the vessel or returning him to the U.S., officials at the cruise line instead flew him to a hospital in Santo Domingo. There, he underwent emergency surgery during which doctors implanted a pacemaker. After this procedure, our client continued to experience severe pain, forcing him to use a walker.
Partner Deborah J. Gander represented this case and filed a lawsuit against the cruise line. They argued that the company ordered an unnecessary surgical procedure and sent our client to Santo Domingo for treatment in an effort to save money. After a trial, the jury awarded our client $1 million for his injuries and damages. Even though our client’s surgery did not take place aboard the cruise ship, the cruise line was still ultimately responsible for his medical injuries.
Who is Liable for Medical Malpractice Aboard a Cruise Ship?
Medical negligence on a cruise ship or any vessel can potentially cause a fatal injury or condition, especially as other hospitals are typically inaccessible. Additionally, filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim for this kind of medical malpractice can be difficult. It is not always clear what court has jurisdiction and who is liable for the damages. Generally, the potential liable parties include:
- The cruise line. Often, cruise ship companies try to deny responsibility when an injury or death results from medical malpractice on their vessels. They claim that the doctors and nurses are independent contractors, not employees. They also sometimes argue that the standard of care aboard a ship is much lower than in a regular hospital. However, recent court rulings have made it possible to hold cruise lines accountable for medical negligence.
- The negligent doctor or other medical professional. In some cases, it may be possible to hold the cruise line’s doctor or other medical worker directly responsible for medical malpractice. However, unlike most doctors, those aboard cruise ships may not have malpractice insurance. They also may have few personal assets and may not live in the U.S. Therefore, this is often not an option for medical negligence victims and their families. Still, you should consult with experienced cruise injury attorneys who can find all possible avenues for compensation on your behalf.
Did you contract COVID from a cruise line?
The coronavirus pandemic impacted the cruise line industry in a major way. Outside of China, the first major outbreaks of COVID-19 were on board cruise ships. However, even knowing of the increased risks to passengers, cruise line owners and operators continued operating like nothing was different. Cruise lines made a choice to put profit over people. Evidence has emerged that cruise line operators knew that there was a major risk of their passengers contracting COVID-19. They even continued to operate cruise ships after known COVID-19 patients had disembarked, and new passengers had boarded.
It would make sense that cruise line owners and operators would ensure that they had every bit of medical equipment necessary to properly treat patients. Cruise ships are supposed to provide adequate medical care for patients. For COVID-19 patients, the following equipment is absolutely vital:
- Cardiac EKG monitoring systems
- IV supplies and pumps
- Blood pressure monitoring equipment
- Airway management systems
- Oxygen systems
When the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifts the “no-sail” order for cruise lines operating in US waters, it is absolutely essential that cruise ship owners and operators do everything they can to ensure all passengers are safe on board. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, cruise lines must have all necessary medical equipment on board to handle emergencies that may arise.
Unfortunately, there are likely to be cases of medical negligence related to future COVID-19 illnesses onboard cruise lines. The team at Colson Hicks Eidson is going to closely monitor this situation and will be ready to help any victims of cruiseship medical negligence.
Hurt by Medical Negligence on a Cruise? Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to medical malpractice on a cruise, then contact our attorneys right away. Cruise injury claims are generally complex due to jurisdictional issues and other legal questions.
However, our lawyers have experience investigating and litigating these types of cases both nationally and internationally. In the past, our cruise ship injury lawyers have obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in international cases. In particular, we have a reputation for success in claims involving negligent cruise lines.