The cruise line acknowledged that the British Virgin Islands choice of law clause could be applied but asked, in the alternative, that Netherlands law to be applied to the lawsuit. The crewmember argued the choice of law clause violated section five of the Federal Employer’s Liability Act for which the Jones Act is based upon. Section Five provides, “Any contact,… the purpose or intent of which shall be enable any common carrier to exempt itself from any liability created by the chapter, shall to that extent be void.” The court agreed with the crewmember and found the British Virgin Island choice of law provision is void as it would require the crewmember to forego her Jones Act claim entirely thereby allowing Holland America to evade liability.
Incredibly, the woman survived the fall into the icy water and drifted at sea for 38 hours without a life jacket. She reported yelling for help to other passing ships but was not heard. It was not until Friday morning that a fishing boat spotted her and rescued her. She was taken to the hospital to treat blisters on her arms from jellyfish stings and was released on Saturday.
According to the Jersey Journal, a Philadelphia man aboard the ship witnessed the incident and said that when he and his wife arrived in the area the woman had just been pulled from the water, was unresponsive and had a pale/purple look.
A man was killed Sunday, July 31, 2016 when the personal watercraft he was operating slammed into a channel marker causing him to be thrown off the vessel and to hit the marker. Two women riding with him were also thrown off the watercraft. The accident occurred near Picnic Island, south of the Julia Tuttle Causeway. All three persons involved were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where the man was pronounced dead. One of the women sustained serious injuries to one of her legs. The other woman suffered bruises and has already been released from the hospital.