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Lawsuit: Cruise line should be liable for bad weather, injuries

As many people in Florida know, there are different laws that apply to injuries that happen offshore. Tourists who get sick or injured on a cruise ship or other vessel may be able to pursue compensation from cruise lines that are negligent in protecting passengers and keeping them safe when they are onboard.

When people go on cruises, they expect to be able to relax and soak up the sun. When bad weather or poor conditions on the ship jeopardize a person's ability to enjoy a vacation, though, how far does the cruise line's liability reach? A recent lawsuit was filed that brings up this very issue. Three people are saying that a travel company and cruise line should certainly be held responsible for the injuries that were caused by weather on a 2006 cruise.

The three people who are suing a travel company and cruise line owners say that they were on a 24-day cruise when the ship hit an area of heavy wind and storms. They claim that the operators were negligent first by choosing to set sail in such bad weather. Additionally, they say a number of people were injured because there were insufficient warnings to passengers when they hit the storm. People were getting hurt as the ship hit rough waters, and one person even died after falling down a flight of stairs.

The lawsuit is unique because it raises the question of whether cruise ships should be held responsible for what happens onboard during bad weather. It certainly makes sense. With wind, rain and rough waters, surfaces are slippery and uneven. Items can break or come loose in strong winds. Keeping passengers safe during these times should be one of the highest priorities on a cruise ship.

Source: USA Today, "Report: Cruisers sue over stormy sailing across Atlantic," Gene Sloan, July 24, 2012

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