Sixty-six passengers and two crew members onboard the Majesty of the Seas fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. An official statement reports the suspected cause to be the Norovirus, which is spread through infected persons, contaminated food or water, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. The affected passengers were administered over-the-counter medication onboard the vessel and the crew executed a thorough sanitizing operation inside the ship and terminal to prevent the spread of further illness. This follows an outbreak on the Norwegian Gem in November of last year. In that instance 111 passengers fell ill with the same symptoms. The CDC reported similar responses by the cruise line to the outbreak.
Whether you are from Washington on a Caribbean cruiser or a tourist onboard a ship that docks at the Port of Seattle, any sort of costly illness that occurs due to unsanitary practices is unacceptable. The Norovirus is described as an illness that spreads very quickly. The span of the sickness is typically short in people who generally healthy, but others can experience prolonged infection. Young children, the elderly, and those who suffer other medical illnesses are at greater risk for severe illness. Close-spaced settings like daycares, schools, and cruise ships are known as at-risk locations for outbreaks due to the enhanced amounts of person-to-person contact.
Cruise ship companies are obligated to provide their guests with a seaworthy vessel and reasonable care under the circumstances. If an illness or injury occurs because of a failure to uphold one or both of these obligations, the cruise line may be liable for damages that occur as a result. Damages can include payments for costs like hospital bills, doctors appointments, future medical expenses, and lost wages incurred because of the inability to go to work. Quick action is necessary following an accident or illness during a cruise ship voyage. As you purchased your tickets, you probably signed an agreement that accompanied your ticket or was written on the back of your ticket prior to boarding the vessel. Part of the contract likely included a clause that requires you to provide notice of the claim within a specific time period prior to filling suit in a court of law. Often these require you to file a notice of claim within a period like six months of the date of the illness, accident, or injury. The clause may also dictate that lawsuits must be filed within a year of the accident, injury, or illness.
The Washington cruise ship accident attorneys, John Merriam and Gordon Webb, are both very familiar with the requirements that cruise ship companies place on passengers who wish to file suit. They have dealt with cruise ship claims for several years, and know how to efficiently and effectively file the notice of claim and any personal injury action in a maritime and admiralty court. If you have fallen ill or been injured while on a cruise ship voyage, contact one of our experienced attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation.
Related Blog Posts:
2013 Ends With Two Passenger Disappearances On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships, Maritime Lawyer Blog, January 14, 2014
Internal Company Documents Reveal Carnival Cruise Line Knew Of Problems Before Infamous Triumph Voyage, Maritime Lawyer Blog, December 26, 2013