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Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Assault Committed By Cruise Ship Auctioneer


The alleged assault occurred aboard one of the Princess Cruise Line vessels and the allegations are disturbing. According to the victim, she was raped by an art auctioneer while aboard a Princess Cruise vessel. She further alleges that she acquired HIV from the assault.

Sex crimes aboard cruise ships are not uncommon. Sex crimes in tourist locations are not uncommon. Folks don’t act the same way when they’re in a social context in which they can be held accountable. In places like cruise ships, issues of jurisdiction can become complicated.

Suffice it to say, cruise ships have officers on board who will handle claims related to sexual assault. In some cases, however, these individuals are private security personnel of the cruise line or an affiliated company. This can make it difficult for passengers who have been the victims of sexual assault to feel as though their concerns are being taken seriously. The cruise line is aware that there is a potential liability issue. So, protecting their interests from a lawsuit becomes their top aim.

Analyzing the allegations 

While issues of jurisdiction and other matters render maritime lawsuits more complex than most, the allegations in the lawsuit are the same as you would find in any negligent security lawsuit. Essentially, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant had a duty of care to ensure that guests were kept safe, there was adequate security, and obvious dangers were remedied.

In the event that the host, in this case, the cruise line, fails to provide adequate security and someone is injured, the host would be liable. However, the plaintiff must establish foreknowledge of a dangerous situation and/or that the host could have intervened at some point to prevent the attack.

Foreseeability in negligent security lawsuits 

A lawsuit involving these allegations will be filed regardless of whether or not the plaintiff has adequate grounds for negligence. The court can decide if the plaintiff’s arguments pass muster. The plaintiffs can also ask uncomfortable questions in depositions of employees, what they saw, whether they saw the woman resisting the efforts of the auctioneer, and whether there was good cause to intervene.

The cruise line will simply say that they didn’t know what was happening and would have gladly intervened had they known. It is certainly true that the cruise line would have prevented this attack from occurring if they had the opportunity because the last thing they want is another sexual assault article in the headlines. Nonetheless, that’s what they got, and a lawsuit to defend too.

If successful, the plaintiff will be entitled to beaucoup bucks as she now has a lifelong ailment to deal with that requires lifelong medication maintenance.

Talk to a Miami Maritime and Cruise Ship Lawyer Today 

Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford handles crew and passenger claims filed against maritime companies operating on the open seas. That includes negligent cruise ship companies. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



  • American Association for Justice
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  • American Association for Justice

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

Courthouse Tower, Suite 750
44 West Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33130

Toll Free: 866-473-2636
Phone: 305-539-1999
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