Unfortunately cruise ship passengers fall overboard and disappear each year. It is unknown how often and how many passengers have fallen off cruise ships or disappeared because until the 2010 enactment of the Cruise Safety Act, cruise lines were not required to report these incidents. If you were unfortunate enough to fall overboard or suffer the pain of a loved one disappearing during a cruise vacation, maritime law does provide recourse.
We are often asked by our clients who refurbish yachts whether they can include a clause in their contracts which gives them a maritime lien for attorney fees paid in association with bringing a lawsuit to collect unpaid invoices. Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, maritime law does provide a remedy.
Being an avid kayaker as well as a maritime attorney, I get asked time and again if Florida requires titling and registration of kayaks or canoes outfitted with electric motors. The answer is an emphatic YES!
Upon receiving a claim notice, it is often times a marine insurance company’s knee jerk reaction to tell the yacht owner to take all reasonable precautions to mitigate and lessen the damages or the claim will be denied. The yacht owner, wanting the marine insurance company to pay the claim, will hire various contractors to care for the damaged vessel and to undertake work designed to prevent additional damage from occurring. After the insurance company “investigates” the claim, the owner receives a letter stating coverage is denied because the owner breached one of the several warranties buried in the policy. If this happened to you, maritime law may provide recourse.
All major cruise lines have doctors aboard their cruise ships. In fact, cruise lines turn a profit from charging passengers for doctor visits and dispensing needed medication. However, if a passenger suffers an injury or dies as a result of the medical malpractice of these ship doctors, the cruise lines are generally not liable.