Lawsuit Filed By Crewman Claims Cruise Line Cut Corners, Caused Injury
A lawsuit has been filed against a cruise line by one of its crewmen after she was injured while on duty, according to a recent lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed under The Jones Act and the crewman is not a citizen of the United States. However, the principal place of business for the cruise line is Orlando, FL. Hence, the lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. district where the cruise line is located.
In this case, the crewman filed a lawsuit after she was required to deliver trays to passengers over and over. She asserts that the lack of trolleys to deliver food substantially contributed to her injury. She also asserts that the cruise ship was understaffed, requiring her to make several consecutive trips prior to becoming so run down that she began experiencing pain in her back and numbness.
To wit, there are three allegations made against the defendant. 1) The defendant did not avail its employee of trolleys, 2) The defendant understaffed the dining room, and 3) The defendant did not avail the plaintiff of required rest periods. Is this enough to win a personal injury lawsuit? Below, we’ll take a look at the factors.
Employee lawsuits permitted under The Jones Act
Maritime workers are among the few that can file lawsuits against their employers in the event that their employer commits some form of negligence that leads to their injuries. Seamen generally have better worker protections than the general public. In this case, the crewmember is alleging that the cruise line failed to accommodate employee safety concerns and failed to employ industry standards when providing services to customers. The use of trolleys to deliver food is fairly standard aboard cruise ships according to the complaint. The lawsuit asserts that cruise lines and banquet halls generally employ no less than three-person teams to deliver food. Lastly, the employer is accused of overworking the employees by assigning them extremely long shifts with no rest breaks.
One last allegation
If those were the only three allegations made against the cruise line, the plaintiff may have been out of luck. However, after her injury, the plaintiff presented to the ship infirmary where she was given some pain medication and cleared for work. She further injured her back during this period. So, the question of whether or not the doctor should have taken her out of circulation with serious back pain is another question that the jury will have to answer. The jury will also be asked to decide if ship doctors are more concerned about the interests of their employers than they are about their patients.
Under The Jones Act, an employer has a duty of care to ensure the medical needs of an employee who is injured on the job. That means getting them shoreside immediately or treating their injuries onboard. In this case, neither happened, and it may form the backbone of this personal injury lawsuit.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford represents the interests of plaintiffs who have been injured aboard vessels due to the negligence of the ship operator or their employer. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.