Cruise lines and on-board doctors have been immune to medical malpractice lawsuits for decades. However, the United States Appellate Court recently made it easier for passengers to hold the ship accountable for negligent medical treatment, according to the Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post recounted the story of a Royal Caribbean passenger who fell and sought medical attention that was so negligent the man fell into a coma and died a week later. The passenger’s family filed a claim in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, but the judge dismissed the case citing that maritime laws provide immunity to cruise lines. The case went to an Appellate Court where the judge offered a different interpretation of the laws that favored holding Royal Caribbean accountable for the negligent care provided by on board medical staff.
Injured cruise ship passengers have limited options for medical treatment. They must rely on the on board medical staff to provide the necessary medical care. When the doctor is negligent and a life is lost, someone must be held accountable. Medical professionals should not be immune after causing death or extreme harm because of the location of the practice.
The recent Royal Caribbean ruling may make it easier for injured cruise ship passengers to find justice.
Victims of medical negligence are urged to contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Pennsylvania as soon as possible to discuss eligibility and preserve their legal rights.