Parents Sue After Baby is Tragically Injured Aboard Cruise Ship
Nine-month-old Phoebe Moon was with her parents on her first vacation. They boarded Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in February, just before the coronavirus struck. The Moon family, who are from the UK, were having a great time until their little one, Phoebe, got sick.
Mother, Aimee Moon says she took Phoebe to the infirmary at least five times that day. Each time, she says, they were sent back to their cabin. They refused to leave and demanded that the ship doctor treat them. Phoebe was then given antibiotics. The family disembarked with their sick daughter in St. Martin.
By the time the parents got her to the St. Martin hospital, the doctors told them to prepare for the worst because their daughter was very sick. The doctors told the family that there was very little chance their daughter would survive. They airlifted the family from St. Martin to Florida.
Photos taken by the family at the time of the incident show that Phoebe’s arms and legs were swollen purple. She was eventually diagnosed with a severe form of meningitis. To save her life, the doctors were required to remove both feet and one of her arms.
Doctors Thought She Had a Stomach Bug
Medical issues aboard cruise ships are some of the most common reasons lawsuits are filed. In this instance, the doctors aboard the vessel believed that Phoebe had a stomach bug and returned her to her cabin several times. However, they missed the fact that Phoebe was running a life-threateningly high temperature of 104 ℉.
Stomach bugs are common aboard cruise ships. As well we know, infectious diseases can spread quickly.
Royal Caribbean Seeks to Move Lawsuit to the UK
Cruise lines have a lot of power when it comes to dictating dispute resolution. Each individual who boards a cruise ship is required to sign a waiver that generally allows the cruise line to choose which venue. Most people would prefer their case be heard in state court as opposed to federal court which is why cruise lines generally require cases be heard in federal court.
In this case, because the family is from the UK, Royal Caribbean is requiring the lawsuit be heard in the UK where there are limits on certain types of damages, the family will be awarded substantially less than they would in U.S. court.
In the UK, compensatory damages are capped at $900,000 for a family like Phoebe’s. Of course, the UK has a national health system that would provide for Phoebe’s medical needs moving forward.
Nonetheless, those who attempt to file lawsuits against cruise lines should know that certain loopholes in the law can be maneuvered to the cruise line’s benefit.
Talk to a Miami Cruise Line Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone in your family has been injured aboard a cruise line, call Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford today to learn more about how we can help.