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 Justiceall 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”.

Posted February 21, 2007 by
Crime, Cruise Ship, Judicial, Travel, WTF | 12 comments

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  • Jill Begora reported missing from Royal Caribbean cruise ship ”Jewel of the Seas”

  • Comments

    12 Responses to “Are Cruise Ships Responsible For Anything on the High Seas? Buyer Beware … Ship’s Doctors can’t be Sued”

    1. dennisintn on February 21st, 2007 3:14 pm

      this article really makes me want to sign up for a cruise. think i’ll make it a cruise that includes an overnight stop on aruba. that’s double jeopardy for you.

    2. JusticeforNatalee on February 21st, 2007 3:28 pm

      To fellow monkeys who
      want to support justice
      at the Boston Travel Show:

      Check out Southwest Airlines
      for cheap flights.

      You have to book a few weeks in
      advance but the rates are good.

      It is no frills but will get you there on time.
      Hear that, JetBooBoo?

      Don’t let distance deter you!


    3. cat on February 21st, 2007 3:37 pm

      Wrong sex,Dennis unless guido returns.Let me guess,agency rules don’t apply.I feel much better,and I guess,that most health Insurance is no good in non-US locations.great,I feel so much better.Bring me a red fire from cnc’s,while we are at it’

    4. dennisintn on February 21st, 2007 4:36 pm

      #3, lol, mr. smith didn’t do so well on his honeymoon cruise, and i’d probably end up at least in jail on aruba the first time i heard the rhetoric they’re preaching now about natalee being on another island and she is part of an insurance scam. while i’m at it, i think mr. smith met his fate trying to protect his daterape drugged wife.

    5. joe bear on February 21st, 2007 7:48 pm

      The Turks solved that case.I would dead or in jail in aruba,and it would worth it.the big problem in aruba is no good trees,Roy Bean told me.Oh the prosecuters in Italy wouldn’t act,in the Smith case.Gee,what a novel idea,justice

    6. Richard on February 21st, 2007 8:34 pm

      Note one very significant thing about this article: it’s in the last paragraph. If the whole thing isn’t here, this is what’s astounding.

      For PASSENGERS, the interpretation of the court is that the doctor is a contractor, and hence the cruise line isn’t liable for what he does; e.g., with a misdiagnosed case.

      But for CREW MEMBERS, they can indeed sue. For them, the doctor is regarded as the same as an employee.

      If anyone can explain how that makes sense, I’ll be amazed.

    7. joe bear on February 21st, 2007 10:12 pm

      I guess the paid without ssi benefits.It is bad law,imo.

    8. Patti on February 21st, 2007 11:40 pm


      None of it makes sense. They don’t want to be responsible
      for our safety at any time. They might have to train some
      people to be moral, attentive, honest and street smart.

      They should be forced to have a genuine investigator on staff. One that knows to clear the scene of a crime.
      AND be considered part of U.S. soil so the F.B.I. can get
      involved, in the cases involving U.S. citizens.

      I wonder how much it would raise the price of a ticket?
      Maybe $50 or $100? What does it matter? It used to be
      that a crime committed at Sea was punishable by death!

    9. Patti on February 22nd, 2007 12:05 am

      Wasn’t any crime committed on the “High Seas”
      considered treason?

    10. Richard on February 22nd, 2007 6:22 am

      Patti, your idea is one of the things that the International Cruise Victims organization is working to promote. It’s composed largely of people who have lost a loved one at sea. I do volunteer research for them.

      Did you know that the cruise ship industry spends huge amounts of money on lobbying, etc? Hard to imagine, but it’s true. It’s a tough power to fight.

      And did you know that the cruise ships are required to report felonies on board to the FBI … BUT that the disappearance of a passenger at sea is NOT CONSIDERED A FELONY? That’s what current law is, I’m told … so it’s still voluntary on the part of the cruise lines to report such a thing. Shows great concern for passengers, right?

    11. JusticeforNatalee on February 22nd, 2007 10:01 am

      Fellow Monks,

      Please try to make the Boston gig.

      Whether by car, train, bus, or unicyle,
      please try to attend, if only for a day.

      Justice for Natalee is a great cause.

      Your help is needed!

    12. JusticeforNatalee on February 22nd, 2007 10:18 am

      Off topic but important

      Bob Woodruff reports:

      “To Iraq and Back”

      Tues 2/27 10PM/9C


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