Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Navigating a course to justice

Schedule a Free

Lawsuits Filed Concerning Cruise Ship Crash In Puerto Rico


In 2019, the Norwegian cruise ship Epic crashed into a port in Puerto Rico causing serious damage. Now, everyone is suing everyone else. In this article, we’ll discuss the crash and how it happened.

What Happened? 

A Norwegian cruise liner crashed into the pier at San Juan causing a reported $9 million in damage. The Puerto Rico Port Authority has filed a lawsuit against Norwegian cruises hoping to recoup the losses and repair the pier. The lawsuit also targets two tugboats that were involved in the crash.

Initially, it was Norwegian Cruise Lines that filed that lawsuit against the tugboat company alleging that it was the tugboats’ negligence that led to their ship being damaged. The crash occurred while Epic was attempting to dock at the pier. Essentially, the boat destroyed the pier and now everyone is trying to figure out who’s to blame for the destruction of the pier. Norwegian Cruise Lines wants to point the finger at the tugboat company and they will likely point the finger right back at Norwegian Cruise Lines. Meanwhile, the Port Authority is pointing the finger at both companies.

Whose Fault is It? 

The National Transportation Safety Board investigates crashes related to boats, trains, and other non-auto-related traffic. According to the NTSB, the most likely cause of the accident was a communications breakdown between the port master and the pilot. While Norwegian Cruise Line’s insurance company was prepared to earmark $23 million for liability coverage, Norwegian Cruise Lines still insists that it was the port pilots were responsible for the accident and alleged that they did not provide services in a workmanlike manner, and their failure to communicate resulted in the crash.

Meanwhile, the port is blaming Norwegian Cruises. Firstly, the ship captain for the cruise vessel issued commands in Spanish when they should have been issued in English, claims the port, and that was the cause of the communications breakdown.

Who Will Win the Lawsuit? 

It’s not uncommon for a defendant in a civil lawsuit to point the finger right back at the individuals who are pointing it at them. In this case, Norwegian Cruises believes that the port is responsible for causing damage to their boat while the Port says that instructions must be issued in English as opposed to Spanish. However, one would expect a Puerto Rican port to have someone there that spoke Spanish. It would not have been absurd for the cruise line to guess that someone who spoke Spanish would be available to a captain who only spoke Spanish. And ultimately, the port authorities are in charge of how vessels dock, so the stronger argument is Norwegian’s.

Talk to a Cruise Ship Injury Attorney 

Crew and passengers who have been injured aboard cruise ships can file lawsuits against the cruise ship to recover damages related to their injuries. Call Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation in more detail.



  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

It's Your Time To Win

Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

I have read the disclaimer.

Captcha Image

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
Fax: 305-539-1998