Articles Tagged with “Cruise Ship Passenger Lawyer”

handcapped.pngThe Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was passed to make businesses and recreational areas accessible to persons with disabilities. Though originally envisioned as a land-based statute, the Supreme Court in Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line, Ltd. held the ADA applicable to any cruise ship leaving from an United States port. Overnight, the Spector case required the cruise industry to refit its ships to comply with the ADA including the accessibility standards set forth in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG). Subsequent cases, however, recognized because of the uniqueness of ocean going vessels many ADAAG requirements, were specifically formulated for land-based structures, cannot practically apply to ships. As such, cruise ships are exempt from certain structural ADAAG requirements until such time as the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board issues specific standards for ships. However, courts found all other aspects of the ADA applicable to cruise ships. These include:

  • Proper height and shape for signage;
  • Wheelchair assessable cabins/staterooms;
  • Grab rails in lavatories;

3 Cruise Ships at Port.jpgNearly every cruise line’s boarding pass requires an injured passenger to file suit within one year from the date of accident. Cruise lines also require their injured passengers to file their claim in a specific city and even a particular court. As such, a person living in Chicago who was injured on a cruise departing from and returning to San Diego may be required to bring a lawsuit in a Miami Federal Court even though the cruise ship never touched a Florida port.

Cruise lines prey on the fact many injured passengers (and their local non-maritime attorneys) do not read the boarding pass’ fine print and think they have three or four years to file suit and/or could file the claim in their local court. Cruise lines are also empowered by court decisions which strictly enforce these boarding pass provisions. Often times cruise lines delay in responding to information requests or stall settlement negotiations as a tactic to lullaby unsuspecting injured passengers into not timely filing suit. Unfortunately, each year many hurt passengers forfeit their right to sue and obtain just compensation by not adhering to the boarding pass’ conditions.

Don’t fall victim to these terms and conditions. If you have any questions, contact an experienced cruise passenger injury attorney to help you navigate your way through these pitfalls.