Cruise Ship Sexual Assault and Rape Information BLOG

Miami, Florida and Nationwide

July 26, 2014

Senator Jay Rockefeller D-W.Va introduced a bill last year aiming to improve the protection of passengers on cruise ships. This Wednesday there was a second hearing to gather information and raise awareness of the problems.

Philip Gerson, a Miami-based civil trial lawyer specializing in cruise liner cases, said significant improvements in passenger safety are needed and highlighted the case of one of his clients, a 15 year old girl with Asperger syndrome who was raped during a cruise.

In addition, Laurie Dishman, from Sacremento California, described how she was choked and raped on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Mexico by an employee.

The case of George Smith IV, from Greenwich, CT., who vanished from his honeymoon cruise in the Aegean Sea in July 2005, was also discussed.

Senator Rockefeller said that the horror stories which they were hearing about showed that there was a lack of concern for passenger safety in the cruise industry and despite evidence they continued to fail to address the problem.

Last August, following pressure from Congress and the victims, major cruise liners began voluntarily posting crime data online, but the committee members said it was not sufficient.  

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 25, 2014

Michelle Ligori and her husband, from Hamilton, Ontario, were preparing to board Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, for a seven day vacation on one of the world's largest cruise ships.

However when they were preparing to board, together with their two young sons, they received a shock.

The girl at the counter asked Michelle if she could be pregnant and as she had just found out she was a couple of days previously, she answered that yes she was.

She was then not allowed to board without a doctor’s note saying she was fit to travel.

Ligori says that they were treated like parasites and that Royal Caribbean refused to accept a letter from a doctor in Ontario saying she could travel and nor would they allow the ship’s doctor to see her.

As a result they missed the departure, had to fly to the Bahamas at their own expense and then boarded the ship presenting a letter from a doctor at a Florida hospital, who did not even conduct a pregnancy test.

The family missed two days of their cruise and Royal Caribbean only offered them $250 credit towards a future cruise.

Ligori said that on seven previous cruises, she had never been asked the question.

This was her first voyage with Royal Caribbean.

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 25, 2014

The presence of giant cruise ships in Venice has become one of the most talked about topics in the travel world and the concern over the damage they may be causing.

For the cruise industry, Venice is one of the most popular destinations on their agendas, adding history and elegance to any cruise.

But others think that Venice was never designed to host such enormous vessels.

Now a large and potent group of celebrities consisting of writers, fashion designers, journalists, architects, Hollywood icons and even members of royalty have started an appeal to banish cruise liners from Venice forever.

Film stars including Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Michael Douglas have signed a petition which has been sent to the Italian prime minister and the Italian minister of culture and tourism, saying that cruise liners must be banned from the historic city.

Other signatories include Sir Michael Caine, Susan Sarandon and Julie Christie.

Fashion designers Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Hubert de Givenchy and Calvin Klein are also backing the plea.

 

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 24, 2014

On Wednesday there was a Senate Commerce Committee hearing chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., during which witnesses called for better passenger protection on cruise liners.

Laurie Dishman, from Sacramento, California recounted to the senators through tears how she was  was choked and raped on a Royal Caribbean cruise by one of the line's employees, saying that the cruising public have virtually no rights or protections. Her rapist was never arrested nor tried in the United States.

Kim Ware of Houston was another witness and talked about her experience when she was a passenger on the Carnival Triumph in 2013. The ship lost power in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire that disabled basic systems including water and sewage. She recounted how feces in red biohazard bags lined the hallway, and sewage came up through the shower drains.

She went on to say that people began to hoard food and the stench increased throughout the ship. During the whole incident, she said there was little or no direction from the staff and that it was obvious Carnival Cruise Lines had no disaster mitigation plan in place.

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 23, 2014

Cruise ship vacation are a once in a lifetime experience for most passengers. Food, drinks, nightlife, entertainment, and recreational activities are all-inclusive and the ships themselves are so extensive that they are often considered a city unto themselves. The 3-, 5- and 7-day excursions include day long stops at various exotic locations around the world where vacationers activities or simply sightsee. While these vacations are typically uneventful they have seen their share of mishaps that have led to serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

No one ever expects to take a cruise vacation and come out of it with an injury, or the loss of a friend or a loved one. But passengers fall in their rooms or in various areas of the ship, fires break out in engine rooms, kitchens, or public areas, and on some occasions passengers have even fallen overboard.  And cruise ship accidents have a very specific set of legal stipulations attached to them and so only a specialized attorney with a track record of certified experience in handling cruise ship injury cases should be sought. When accidents happen, only the best and most skilled legal help will be able to win the compensation that the client deserves. 

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 22, 2014

Every major metropolitan area in the United States sees police chases every month, but some areas such as the state of Florida, see multiple pursuits daily. Any law enforcement officer will tell you that high speed police chases are not the stuff of movies but are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly, threatening the lives of those involved in the pursuit, and also innocent bystanders.  

Police officers spend a lot of time training for high speed pursuits, but even the most skilled officers are capable of making mistakes. The suspects are often drunk or high and coupled with the adrenaline of the chase, their driving skills reduce significantly. Countless police chases have ended in serious injuries or death, and the families of the victims are left not only with grief but also unexpected expenses.

The families, particularly those of innocent bystanders, often look for someone to be held accountable and so called “Ambulance chasers” can be a quick solution to their legal needs, but they are often inexperienced and incompetent typically losing the cases they fight. Court cases involving death resulting from a high speed police chase are some of the most complex and difficult for any lawyer and require the most experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel available. 

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 20, 2014

Every parent wants the best for their children and the very thought of having to face one of their children being the victim of rape is enough to keep any parent wide awake at night.

There are entire divisions within most police precincts dedicated to solving child rape cases, as the legal implications for rape against a child are complex and severe and need to be treated with the highest level of care and discretion. Many lawyers find it difficult to handle cases of this nature as the details can be so disturbing.   Families of victims can sometimes have trouble finding legal counsel able to follow through on their cases, which adds to the stress and emotional toll of their situation.

Finding a dependable and experienced lawyer doesn’t have to be a struggle. States like Florida, New York, and California that regularly see a high number of these crimes have attorneys used to handling them competently. Due diligence is required on the family’s part in searching for this very specialized brand of legal counsel. But the right attorney can indeed be found and the justice that is so desperately sought by the victims of these horrible crimes as well as their families can be done.

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 19, 2014

Celebrity Cruise Lines is owned by Royal Caribbean, a U.S. and Norwegian based company with its   headquarters in Miami, Florida.  The company carries thousands of passengers each year,but its ships have been subject to several criminal investigations and numerous civil lawsuits, stemming from negligence, personal injury, and sexual assault.  Cruise companies tend to have very competent legal representation, meaning that anyone looking to sue Celebrity Cruise Lines will need to come prepared.

There are numerous reasons a person may want to take Celebrity Cruise Lines to court.  Perhaps they were the victim of a slip and fall, or an excursion accident.  Perhaps they are looking for justice after a sexual assault.  There are even cases where the survivors of a person who disappeared while cruising take the cruise line to court.  In order to make the case as strong as possible, the victim, or their survivors, should document everything including receipts, names, locations, pictures, and videos. Write an account of what happened, while fresh in the mind.

Next, contact a competent attorney.  Cruise ship law is complex and  This is no time to go to a novice attorney.  Take all the evidence which has been gathered, including the written account, and contact the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. immediately.

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 18, 2014

Celebrity Cruise Lines is owned by Royal Caribbean, a U.S. and Norwegian based company with its   headquarters in Miami, Florida.  The company carries thousands of passengers each year,but its ships have been subject to several criminal investigations and numerous civil lawsuits, stemming from negligence, personal injury, and sexual assault.  Cruise companies tend to have very competent legal representation, meaning that anyone looking to sue Celebrity Cruise Lines will need to come prepared.

There are numerous reasons a person may want to take Celebrity Cruise Lines to court.  Perhaps they were the victim of a slip and fall, or an excursion accident.  Perhaps they are looking for justice after a sexual assault.  There are even cases where the survivors of a person who disappeared while cruising take the cruise line to court.  In order to make the case as strong as possible, the victim, or their survivors, should document everything including receipts, names, locations, pictures, and videos. Write an account of what happened, while fresh in the mind.

Next, contact a competent attorney.  Cruise ship law is complex and  This is no time to go to a novice attorney.  Take all the evidence which has been gathered, including the written account, and contact the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. immediately.  

tags: miami cruise attorney, miami injury attorney, how to sue a cruise line
July 17, 2014

Cruise ships offer the highest level of comfort, service, and entertainment, for passengers who pay a relatively substantial amount for it.  Many passengers however, never think about safety and security and indeed some of the premier cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Holland-America, invest a great deal of money in ensuring the safety of their passengers.

Unfortunately accidents are unavoidable and one of the leading cruise lines, Holland-America, has had its share of accidents and injuries aboard its vessels. Passengers who are injured are usually unaware that there are very specific laws and policies that cruise line companies have in place to protect them from passenger initiated lawsuits related to injuries suffered aboard their ships. They are also often unaware that there are lawyers who specialize in maritime law and who take on personal injury cases specific to cruise ship incidents, winning high amounts of compensation.

While every cruise ship company, including Holland-America, take every measure possible to avoid being sued by their passengers, they know that accidents do happen and in addition there are those who fake an injury or injure themselves intentionally to win a lawsuit. The policies that Cruise line companies have policies to protect themselves from such individuals, but legitimate accidents do indeed happen and there are attorneys capable of winning large compensatory sums for their clients. 

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