Are Cruise Ships Responsible For Anything on the High Seas? Buyer Beware … Ship’s Doctors can’t be Sued
Buying a ticket aboard a cruise ship these days has become buyer beware. Note to all future cruise passengers … the minute you step aboard the ship … YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS, NONE, NADA, NILL!!!
The money that cruise ships have spent on lawyers and political lobbyists has obviously paid off. Not only are cruise ships not responsible for rapes, murders, missing persons and virus illnesses aboard their floating cities; now cruise ships are not responsible for misdiagnosed illnesses of doctors aboard cruise ships.
… the Florida Supreme Court decided Thursday that cruise lines aren’t responsible for the negligent acts of ship physicians who harm passengers during treatment.
The ruling means only the doctors can be sued. The company is protected unless it knowingly hired an incompetent or unqualified doctor.
That leaves injured passengers without recourse, plaintiff attorneys say. They argue that most doctors on cruise ships are foreign residents, putting them beyond the reach of U.S. courts for all practical purposes.
“Typically they have no insurance,” said James Walker, a Miami maritime attorney. “They typically have no assets to speak of.” (Sun Sentinel)
How convenient that a judge in Florida make such a ruling in favor of the cruise line industry, especially since Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, are based in Florida. The cruise line industry is protected by the best judicial decisions lobbyists can buy. Some one truly needs to explain how in the hell that cruise ships are not responsible for the acts of individuals that they put forth on a cruise ship to aide their paying customers. Since when is a company not responsible for an agent acting on behalf of a company?
Read the following story of what occurred to Elizabeth Carlisle, a 14 year old girl who was misdiagnosed on a Carnival ship in 1997. The jurisdictional and responsibility shell game that cruise lines play is nothing short of criminal and fraud. They purposely create an impossible legal situation by having the cruise line company, ships flag and origin of ship all under different countries. Then they hire people as so-called independent contractors when they act in every manner as employees of a ship in order to obfuscate any personal responsibility. What a sham!
The ruling overturns a 3rd District Court of Appeal decision in favor of Elizabeth Carlisle, a Michigan teen whose ruptured appendix was misdiagnosed on a Carnival ship in 1997. On a family cruise to Mexico, Carlisle had stomach pains and was told by the ship’s doctor she had the flu. When she flew home, the true problem was discovered.
Carlisle, who was 14 years old, was rendered sterile by the rupture and subsequent infection, the court said.
In its 20-page opinion, the Supreme Court said there was merit in Carlisle’s case. The lower court had sided with her, saying that the doctor appeared to be an employee of the cruise line. Carnival argued he was an independent contractor.
Whether it be a virus contracted aboard ship, a rape, a murder, a missing person or a ship-board doctor’s misdiagnosed disaster … the massive multi-billion dollar cruise ship industry has their bases covered and are never held accountable. We wonder why the Smith family and those before them are put through the meat grinder as they are? Anyone who dares take on the cruise industry butts up against the tourism industry and some very questionable decisions by judges based out of Florida.
CT Representative Christopher Shays, Congress … for the love of God please step in and help … “We the People”.