Numerous vacationers are stricken each year with illness or injury while traveling aboard cruise liners. Recently, outbreaks of norovirus aboard cruise liners have brought to light inadequate sanitation, cleanliness, and training of cruise liner employees. The Centers for Disease Control tracks norovirus outbreaks for international cruises lasting longer than three days where more than 3% of the vessel population is affected. In 2015, the CDC reported twelve separate norovirus outbreaks involving widely used cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
When people aboard cruise ships are injured or sickened, their legal rights may be governed by state, federal maritime, and international laws. Federal maritime law requires that cruise liners provide their passengers with reasonable care under the circumstances. For example, cruise liners may be held responsible for inadequate safety policies that result in sicknesses such as norovirus. Additionally, passengers can be seriously injured by unsafe walkways, stairwells, and safety equipment. The requirement that cruise liners provide their passengers with reasonable care is known as the Kermarec Rule, and the rule traces back to a 1959 United States Supreme Court decision.
When cruise liners fail to take steps necessary to maintain sanitation, cleaning, and hygiene practices, passenger safety and health are put at risk. If you or a loved one has been injured or sickened while aboard a cruise ship, contact one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.