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Miami Maritime Law Lawyers Discuss Sexual Assault on Cruise Ships

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Vacationing on cruise ships has become increasingly popular, but many Americans have no idea that as soon as the ship leaves port, the incidents that occur on a cruise ship are not always subject to the same laws that would apply to the same conduct on land. Maritime law governs the activities that occur on ships that sail on the open ocean. When a passenger on a cruise ship is injured or is the victim of sexual assault, these activities fall under maritime law.

The experienced Miami maritime law attorneys at the Yeboah Law Group have represented clients in cases for countless clients involving maritime law.  We offer free consultations, so you can meet with us and get your questions answered with no obligation to hire us.

Sexual assault crimes on cruise ships

While cruise ships seem as if they provide the opportunity for carefree, relaxing fun, they are the equivalent of “floating cities” as they are often referred to as, and every city has hidden dangers including crime. In a story reported on NBC News, many of the victims of sexual assault on cruise ships are minors. The NBC story reported that in 2016, there were 92 alleged on-board crimes reported by cruise lines with 62 of those being sexual assaults. The story focused on how difficult it can be for the victims of on-board sexual assaults to obtain justice.

The cruise ship crime statistics quoted in the NBS news story came from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which publishes annual cruise line incident reports. Passengers can look at these reports dating back to 2010, to see crime reports for cruise ships that embark and disembark in the United States.

Sexual assault is by far the most prevalent crime aboard cruise ships given the abundance of alcohol and little to no security or supervision of drunken passengers who are free to roam about the ship unhindered. If something unfortunate happens, you cannot dial 9-1-1.

Liability for assaults on cruise ships

Sexual assault crimes that occur on cruise ships can involve different perpetrators. In instances where a crew member sexually assaults a passenger, the cruise line, which employs the crew member is vicariously liable for the conduct of the employee under strict liability standards. In these cases, the passenger does not have to prove that the cruise line knew or should have known that the employee might attack passengers.

In cases where one passenger attacks another passenger, then the victim of the attack may be able to pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the cruise line for negligent security. The passenger would have to prove that the cruise line knew about the dangerous conditions leading to the assault.

Authority over crime that occurs on cruise ships

Cruise ships that depart from Florida ports are generally under the jurisdiction of Florida law, and local law enforcement handles some cases, while the U.S. government has jurisdiction when a crime occurs against a U.S. National on a ship that has departed from or will arrive in a U.S. port making the FBI the investigating agency for those crimes according to the NBC News story.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D.-Conn, introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act (CPPA), which would strengthen passenger safety on cruise ships by strengthening video surveillance requirements, improving medical standards, and holding cruise lines responsible for deaths at sea. In a press release about the proposed legislation, Blumenthal said, “Many cruise ships are the size of small towns – but with few emergency services and no law enforcement, these vessels are more Wild West than Atlantis. And when something goes wrong on a cruise ship, a dream vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare.”

How a Miami maritime law lawyer can help

Investigating crimes committed at sea can be complicated as can bringing the perpetrator to justice. The skilled legal team at Yeboah Law Group is here to represent your interests and to make sure that those responsible for your injuries are held responsible and face justice. We pursue compensation, whether from the cruise line or from the perpetrator of the crime.

Schedule a free consultation with a skilled Miami maritime law attorney now

When you or a loved one has suffered an injury at sea on a cruise ship, your dreams of an idyllic vacation were shattered by the reality of negligence and criminal activity. You can trust Yeboah Law Group to provide you with aggressive maritime law representation. You are welcome to call us today at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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