As a cruise ship injury lawyer, we get calls from injured passengers or their attorneys from all over the world. Many of them find out the hard way that most passenger’s cruise tickets provide for a one-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims against the cruise line.
This makes no sense. If you slip and fall stepping out of the taxi because the sidewalk is defective at the Port of Miami, you have four years to file suit. Walk 100 feet up the gangway of your cruise ship; and slip because of a dangerous condition and your statute of limitations drops to one year. Welcome Aboard.
What I typically hear from the out of state lawyers is that the cruise line dragged out settlement negotiations to the point that the statute was blown.
Congress took a giant step to protect cruise ship passengers when it passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 last week. In it cruise lines now have to:
* Install peep holes in passenger staterooms;
* Maintain ship rails at least 42 inches high;
* Install video surveillance equipment for monitoring passenger safety;
* Install warning devices that can be heard throughout the ship;
* Initiate a process for reporting crimes;
The law goes into affect next year, so until then, I guess we are on our own. Hey President Obama, can you get the Statute of Limitations to be extended to four years?