MSC Cruises, is an Italian cruise line that is a subsidiary of the Mediterranean Shipping Company which is the second largest container shipping company in the world.
Personal injury claims against MSC Cruise Lines are very different from making claims against other major cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., NCL or Virgin.
This is because unlike those other companies MSC is a privately owned cruise line that is operated by a very wealthy family out of Switzerland. So all of the major decisions regarding how the cruise line operates are made not by shareholders or a Board of Directors- but rather by a single family.
Today, MSC is the fourth largest cruise line in the world after Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. a Liberian Corporation and Norwegian. They cruise around the world on beautiful luxury cruise ships such as the MSC Divina and the MSC Meraviglia.
The fleet currently has many luxury cruise ships and many more are on order.
Even though MSC is an Italian Cruise line they conveniently flag and register their ships in the country of Panama. This is done to avoid the regulations and requirements that a ship flagged in the United States or Italy would otherwise require.
Panama has very cruise line friendly laws- and a lack of oversight that can provide a very difficult legal process for passengers trying to hold cruise lines like MSC accountable for failing to provide a reasonably safe environment for them during their cruise.
Our MSC injury claims lawyers in Miami have had many cases against MSC on behalf of passengers who have been injured for a variety of reasons.
One of the most common types of cases that we have seen against MSC are people who have slipped and fallen on wet and slippery decks, gangways, staircases, dance floors and other areas of the ship.
The most common type of injury that we investigate for people who have been hurt on a MSC cruise, are broken legs, fractured arms, knee and ankle injuries, spine injuries and even traumatic brain injuries. These injuries often require surgery and a long and painful rehabilitation period.
All cruise lines, including MSC, have a legal duty under the law to maintain their ships in a reasonably safe condition. This includes putting out wet floor signs when they know that a floor is wet and slippery, as well as maintaining the staircases so that they do not create tripping hazards that can lead to serious injuries.
Cruise ships also have to provide adequate and safe lighting for their passengers. We’ve had multiple cases where passengers have been injured because there was inadequate lighting both in and outside the ship. Proper lighting can be extremely important, especially when descending outside staircases at night or in theaters and restaurants or board an MSC Cruise.
Suing MSC for an injury or accident that occurs on board, during an excursion, on a wet or slippery gangway or in the medical center due to medical malpractice committed by one of the MSC doctors or nurses is very complicated because it requires an in depth knowledge and understanding of federal maritime law, international law, personal injury law and medical malpractice law.
Due to the legal complexity of making successful claims against MSC for injuries, we strongly recommend that if you believe that you are the victim of MSC‘s negligence or carelessness that has resulted in an injury you should consult immediately with an experienced admiralty accident lawyer.
Since MSC is an International cruise line- not all cases against it are filed in the United States. In fact, some accident claims against MSC are required to be filed in Italy and other places.
This is why it’s important to have a Maritime Cruise Ship passenger injury lawyer analyze your cruise ship passenger ticket immediately to determine where and when you can bring your case.
There is a small print on every crew ship passenger ticket detailing what is known as the venue and choice of law to bring a passenger injury claim. Oftentimes there are certain damage limitations that are contained in the ticket as well.
The majority of claims against MSC, are however brought here in South Florida. These cases are litigated in the United States Federal District Courthouse in Miami and must be filed within one year of the date of the incident.
This is true even if your cruise did not leave from Florida and even if you’ve never been to Florida. The small print in the passenger cruise ticket will require you to file your claim within one year the date of the injury. There are also certain pre-suit written notice requirements that must be complied with an order to preserve your legal rights to make a claim against MSC Cruise Lines.
Filing cases and litigating them successfully in Federal Court is very different from most personal injury cases that you might encounter on land and against big box retailers like Target, Costco, Whole Foods or Publix.
For instance, the Federal Rules of Evidence are much different than Florida’s evidentiary rules and you will require expert witness testimony to testify as to how and why the accident occurred and to prove that the accident was not all or in part your fault but rather the cruise line’s fault.
Additional expert testimony will be required to prove that the accident “cost“ the injury and what the injury is. Expert testimony will be needed to prove what the past and future medical expenses are. As well as the prognosis for your recovery. This can be very expensive and complicated.
For this reason when our lawyers are investigating a potential case against MSC to determine how much the case may be worth, we often perform what is called “a ship inspection “where we go on board the ship with experts in maritime engineering and architecture to take measurements of things such as the height and width of a staircase, the slipperiness of a particular deck or bathroom floor or to take measurements of lighting.
Often to perform a ship inspection on an MSC ship we simply go to the Port of Miami which is located near our personal injury law firm’s offices. However, sometimes MSC’s ships are located in far off ports which will require our maritime lawyers and experts to fly to a foreign country to perform the cruise ship inspection.
Just like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian- MSC also has a private island that it has available for the exclusive use of its passengers. MSC’s private island is called Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. It has over 2 miles of white sandy beaches and is set in a tropical environment surrounded by crystal blue waters.
In addition to the beach, Ocean Cay has a spa, wedding pavilion, restaurants, bars, and stores. Some of the other activities that you can do on the island in addition to sitting on the beach is scuba diving and renting canoes and kayaks.
Claims against MSC‘s private island are made just as though you were on the ship. If you get injured on their private island the case has to be filed not in the Bahamas but in the United States Federal District Court in Miami within one year of the date of the incident. And all the terms and conditions of the passenger ticket contract apply.
Since 1991, Spencer Aronfeld and the Florida personal injury attorneys at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers have fought passionately to hold cruise lines like MSC accountable when they put their profit over passenger safety.
If you’ve been injured on an MSC cruise you might be entitled to receive money for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of your cruise and other assorted transportation cost.
Our maritime litigation office is located in Miami Florida, nearby to the Port of Miami and United States Federal Courthouse. We represent passengers from around the world who have been hurt on cruises around the globe.
We work on a strictly contingent basis which means we do not get paid unless and until we are successful in getting our clients money. In other words, you don’t pay us unless we win.
Billion dollar cruise lines like MSC have unlimited resources to defend these types of accident cases. They hire the best and brightest law firms and lawyers to defend them. You need a worthy advocate in your corner. You need someone who is not afraid to go the distance against a major cruise line like MSC and has the experience and the support to win your cruise incident case. We proudly offer a free initial consultation to anyone who believes they may have a claim against cruise lines like MSC.
It should be noted that not all accidents on board cruises are actually viable cases. But it takes years of experience and training to understand the difference. And that’s where we can help you. Let’s talk and discuss what happened and see if we can help you by protecting your legal rights.
We provide free consultations by FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom. If you contact us today you can speak to an experienced maritime lawyer and we will listen and help you understand you and protect your legal rights.
Miami-based Aronfeld Trial Lawyers was established by Board Certified Trial Lawyer, Spencer Aronfeld in 1991. The firm represents cases resulting in serious injuries in the areas of Defective Product Liability, Maritime Law, Automobile Accidents, Premises Liability, Cycling Accidents, Slip and Fall Incidents, Wrongful Death, Medical and Dental Malpractice, Civil Rights Claims, Workplace Injuries, Sexual Assault, and others. Every client receives the full benefit of our experience, our resources, and our commitment. The practice of personal injury law is our calling. We are a firm of high-profile, nationally recognized legal advocates who work for you, our client, never big business. All attorneys and staff members at the firm are bilingual speaking Spanish. To learn more, visit https://www.aronfeld.com/ or contact Aronfeld Trial Lawyers directly at (305) 441-0440.