Ruling against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Sets the Tone for Future Claims of Medical Malpractice against Cruise Lines

Last month’s ruling by the United States Appellate Court, involving an elderly person who died after suffering head trauma in a fall while on board a cruise ship, has made it easier for injured cruise ship passengers to sue for medical malpractice.

According to the Huffington Post, the daughter of the passenger sued Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for wrongful death, claiming that her father’s death was caused by a failure to timely diagnosed cranial trauma that later resulted in his death. But, sticking to maritime law, which provides cruise lines with immunity to negligent medical care, the judge in the case, Hon. Joan A. Lenard, dismissed the complaint.

Judge Marcus helped the plaintiff in the case appeal and juxtaposed maritime law with legal theories in a 63-page opinion. After reviewing the opinion, the court found Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. vicariously liable for the passenger’s death.

Up until this ruling, cruise lines have been protected from legal liability over mistakes made by doctors and nurses; the decision sends a clear message to all cruise lines, making them responsible for the negligent actions of their doctors and nurses.

Cruise lines, just like hospitals, should be held liable for medical mistakes that lead to further injury and death of passengers. We are pleased to see this development in medical malpractice law and hope that cruise lines start taking more responsibility for its employees.

For more information about medical malpractice or maritime law, or to consult an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer about a possible claim against a cruise ship, contact us today.

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