Passengers Waylaid in San Francisco After Ruby Princess Docking Mishap
Passengers of the Ruby Princess were waylaid for three days in San Francisco after a docking accident punctured the hull of the behemoth cruise vessel. The passengers were offered refunds for their cruise if they chose to leave or given a 75% discount on another cruise if they chose to stay. The damage was repaired and the Coast Guard gave the vessel clearance to leave three days after the docking accident occurred.
While no injuries were reported, and most guests were pleased with how the matter was resolved, not all docking accidents are the same. In some cases, docking accidents can cause serious injury to tourists aboard cruise ships. In June of 2019, the 13-deck MSC Opera struck a port in Venice, Italy after it crashed into a tourist boat.
Filing a claim in a cruise ship injury lawsuit
If anyone was injured in the docking accident, they would have been able to file a lawsuit against Princess Cruises under the terms of the contract they sign when they agree to go aboard a cruise ship. In most cases, docking accidents don’t cause severe injury to guests, and in this case, no injuries were reported. However, if the ship is jarred even for a moment, passengers can trip and fall causing injury. In most cases, it’s the pier and the boat that require attention. The Coast Guard oversaw the repairs to the Ruby Princess after it struck the dock. A large hole was patched in the hull and the area was repainted.
Another docking accident occurred with a Royal Caribbean vessel in May of 2022. No injuries were reported in that case, but an estimated $2 million in damage was done to the pier. In that case the National Transportation Safety Board conducted an investigation and found that miscommunication and an out-of-date navigational chart were responsible for the accident. The bridge team relied heavily on electronic navigational charts that held incorrect information about the length of the dock. Had anyone been injured in that case, their suit against Royal Caribbean would have been actionable. Luckily, there were no reported injuries.
Injuries in docking accidents do occur, however. Sometimes to those aboard the vessel, sometimes to other boats, and sometimes to those on the pier. When that happens, the liability falls on the vessel’s owner and captain. Docking accidents generally do not occur without some form of negligence. However, they rarely result in serious injuries or major lawsuits.
If you have been injured aboard a cruise ship, the process of filing a lawsuit is a bit different than filing other types of personal injury claims. You will need a maritime attorney who is familiar with filing federal lawsuits to pursue your claim.
Talk to a Miami Maritime Attorney Today
Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford represents the interests of passengers and crew injured aboard cruise ships. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your injuries immediately.