Shipboard Medical Malpractice
Our cruise ship medical malpractice attorneys have represented many passengers who were injured and families of passengers who have passed away as a result of substandard medical care provided aboard cruise lines. Many causes of cruise ship medical malpractice arise from:
- Failure to Treat
- Improper Treatment
- Failure to Follow Treatment
- Errors in Prescribing or Administering Medication
- Failure to Medevac
Cruise lines and shipboard medical staff are represented by insurance company attorneys who seek the best result for their clients. Retaining qualified maritime law is imperative if you suffered an injury or a loved one died because of a cruise ship doctor’s medical malpractice. Hiring the right lawyer can have a major impact on your case.
Bringing a Cruise Ship Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Cruise ship medical malpractice lawsuits can potentially be brought against two categories of defendants: the shipboard medical staff, consisting of doctors and nurses, and the cruise line. Suing each category of defendant brings its own challenge to a plaintiff’s case.
Cruise ship medical staff are often times residents of foreign countries. This presents a jurisdictional hurdle when bringing a direct medical malpractice claim against cruise ship medical staff. In order for a court to have jurisdiction to hear a medical malpractice claim against a ship’s doctor, the doctor must reside or have committed the malpractice within the state where the court sits. This jurisdictional hurdle many times cannot be cleared as the shipboard medical staff resides outside the United States and the malpractice was committed on the high seas. However, this issue must be examined as we have found that sometimes the doctor does reside in the United States or the malpractice occurred in the territorial waters of a particular state.
There is no jurisdictional hurdle for bringing a medical malpractice claim against a United States based cruise line. The major United States based cruise lines contain a clause within the ticket selecting the court where the suit against them must be brought. Bringing a medical malpractice claim against a cruise line is what is known as a vicarious liability claim as the shipboard medical staff which committed the malpractice are many times not direct employees of the cruise lines. For many years passengers did not have a claim against cruise lines for the medical malpractice of shipboard medical staff. This changed in 2014 with the case of Franza v. Royal Caribbean wherein the Eleventh Circuit for the first time determined that maritime law allows for a passenger to bring vicarious liability claim against a cruise line for shipboard medical malpractice. However, since this is a vicarious liability claim, it must be proven that the shipboard doctor or nurse was either a direct or apparent agent of the cruise line.
Aside from bringing a vicarious liability claim, a passenger who was the victim of cruise ship medical malpractice may bring a claim against the cruise line for negligent selection and retention of the ship’s doctor and nurses. In these cases, it must be proved that the shipboard doctor was not qualified when hired or performed in a substandard manner before the subject medical malpractice so much so that a reasonable company would have terminated the contract.
Experienced Cruise Ship Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Florida is the cruise capital of the world and most cruise lines require any lawsuit brought against them to be filed in Florida. This high volume of cruises and lawsuits has given the maritime attorneys of Brais Law Firm vast experience in litigation cruise ship medical malpractice claims. Our experience enables us to quickly identify the key issues in these cases and begin discovering information to support our clients’ claims. We fight to make sure our clients are justly compensated for their damages caused by cruise ship doctors’ medical malpractice.
Contact the Firm for a Free Evaluation
The cruise ship medical malpractice attorneys of Brais Law Firm are dedicated to representing cruise passenger interests. Based in Miami, FL, we regularly sue the major cruise lines. To call our cruise injury lawyers for a free evaluation dial 305-416-2901 from within Florida, call 800-499-0551 from within the U.S., or click Contact Us to complete a form.