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Medical Malpractice on a Cruise


Medical errors can happen anywhere, including your next cruise. According to the American Academy of Emergency Physicians, there are certain guidelines for medical facilities aboard cruise ships. Sadly, some cruise lines fail to comply with these guidelines, employ foreign doctors who do not have the same level of training as doctors licensed in the United States and fail to maintain the equipment they do have in working order.  Medical Malpractice is a very real danger aboard these ships if you need anything more than a band aide.

Here is what you should know.

Medical Facility Requirements 

All cruise lines operating under a U.S. flag must provide, at a minimum:

  • Adequate facilities for emergency medical care
  • Facilities for the collection and testing of evidence in a sexual assault
  • Sufficient services for stabilization and diagnosis of injuries and illnesses
  • Support and comfort for ill or injured passengers

Where Mistakes Happen 

The most common problems arise from a lack of training or equipment.

When a passenger suffers a fall or gets sick, they may need to see the ship’s physician to get treatment.  Misdiagnosis can be a serious problem, due to a lack of training or working equipment.

Passengers With Existing Health Problems 

Many cruise ship passengers are in their later years with the general problems associated with aging. Others arrive with existing health issue such as heart problems, diabetes or breathing disorders. These serious conditions require immediate access to highly qualified medical services. Failure to properly treat a cardiac or diabetic event can prove catastrophic.

Can a Cruise Line Be Liable for Medical Malpractice 


In Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (2014), the court held that cruise lines could indeed be held vicariously liable for the negligence and malpractice of the cruise lines’ healthcare staff aboard their ships. This opens the door for many injured passengers to obtain just compensation for injuries caused by these individuals.

Talk to a Maritime Injury Lawyer Now 

If you’ve suffered an injury or been hurt by medical malpractice aboard a cruise line, call Michael F. Guilford, P.A. in Miami today. We are happy to speak with you about your case for free, and if we determine we are able to help, we can represent you without any upfront cost to you. In fact, we only get paid for our work if we are able to recover compensation for your injuries.





  • 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.

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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
Fax: 305-539-1998