Cruising has become a very popular way to vacation for Americans and citizens of other countries. The nice thing is that you can get away from everything, be surrounded by nothing but ocean and there is someone there to see to your every need. Well, almost every need. What happens if you become ill at sea? As we have seen more and more frequently, you might die at sea. Until recently you had no recourse if something catastrophic happens while you are on a ship.
For more than 100 years you couldn’t win a Medical Malpractice lawsuit against any cruise line as a result of long standing court decisions. The most recent ruling in 1988 known as “Barbetta” said that companies like Royal Caribbean and Carnival said that passengers should not expect the same level of Medical care on a ship as you did on land and that the private contractors were beyond the control of the Cruise Ship company.
Recently a Federal Appeals Court ruled the exemption no longer applies. They decided that Barbetta is outdated because the Doctors and Nurses on these ships wear the uniforms of the company. Further, the presence of these Medical professionals on modern cruise ships along with the latest technology and the presence of video teleconferencing with Medical Experts on shore raised their standard of care. In other words when you advertise having an experienced Medical staff on board then you should deliver what is promised when someone’s life is on this line! The Judge, Stanley Marcus wrote that he was “unable to discern any reason in the law to carve out a special exemption for all acts of onboard medical negligence.” We support this decision. Royal Caribbean however believes it is unfair for purposes of a lawsuit to compare cruise ships to an onshore medical center with specialists and access to lab equipment and test equipment. It appears however, that the company will not be changing its advertising anytime soon to reflect what they think is their lower standard of care!
If you or a loved one has been injured give The Law office of Guenard & Bozarth a call. We have worked with numerous injury victims and we can help you! Call us at 888-809-1075 or visit us at www.gblegal.com We Can Help!