Recently, over 200 people got ill on a Royal Caribbean cruise departing from Fort Lauderdale this past December. The five day trip to Jamaica was marred by an outbreak of the norovirus, which is a gastrointestinal disease spread by infected food and water.
In addition to the hardship of the illness itself, there was criticism over the way the ship’s medical staff handled the passengers’ treatment. Many sick travelers faced long waits for medical care, and the infirmary started to run out of supplies.
To add to the suffering, passengers were not treated by medical staff in their cabins, which would have contained the illness. Passengers got sick in the hallways as they made their way to the medical offices, giving the virus a chance to spread further. Lack of organization and staff oversight were just as at fault as the actions that introduced contaminated food or water to the passengers.
This type of incident points out the importance of keeping your eyes and ears open to negligence on the part of the cruise ship company and its staff. If an illness or injury puts you out of commission on your next cruise, make notes of what you encountered while on the cruise, in the event that you desire to file a case in the future.
Resist cruise staff attempts to lower their liability by signing any forms or giving a statement. Any case you would wish to file needs to be within one year of the incident. If you have questions about filing an injury case due to the negligence of the cruise line or their staff, talk with an attorney experienced in maritime law.