An issue which comes up from time to time in cruise injury cases is which law governs the lawsuit. Such was the focus in a recent case involving a Royal Caribbean passenger who was hurt after falling from his wheelchair while being transported from the Majesty of the Seas to the Port of Miami’s parking lot. The issue before the court is whether to apply federal maritime law or Florida land-based law.
A personal injury case is governed by maritime law if it: (1) arises on navigable waters or is caused by a vessel on navigable waters; and, (2) bears a substantial relationship to a traditional maritime activity. These are known as the “location test” and the “connection test”.