Friday, January 20, 2012

Costa Concordia sinking highlights concern for cruise ship safety

The recent cruise ship tragedy in Italy involving the Costa Concordia (owned by a subsidiary of Carnival Cruises) has brought cruise safety to the front pages of newspapers across the world. But while major disasters such as the Costa Concordia sinking attract worldwide attention, numerous other mishaps ranging from minor irritations to life-threatening injuries can and do occur with regularity on board ships just as they do on land. These stories rarely make the news, although there are occasionally reports surface of passengers or crew who go missing, such as this British crew member of a Disney cruise ship who disappeared last year.

More common are injuries that occur on board ships in recreation areas such as pools, spas, gyms, and climbing walls. Just as on land, the owner of the ship owes certain duties to its guests to maintain a safe environment. In some cases, the cruise operator may be liable for injuries and mishaps that occur during shore excursions as well. There are often, however, contractual limitations on the ability to seek compensation against the cruise operator, so it is critical to review all relevant documents, tickets, and notices provided by the operator before choosing to seek compensation. While individuals can represent themselves in maritime litigation, and in negotiations with a cruise company or operator before litigation, an attorney with knowledge of the specialized rules and laws governing cruises and maritime law in general is often advisable.

Turkheimer & Hadden's attorneys are experienced litigators in complex personal injury, employment, and business matters. Please contact us at the number below if you would like to speak with us about your legal concerns.

Turkheimer & Hadden, LLC
Trial and Appellate Lawyers
142 Walker Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
(404) 890-7200

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