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Our cruise ship injury law firm expresses our condolences to the family for their loss of Royal Caribbean passenger, Bernardo Albaz, who reportedly fell from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship last week. Mr. Albaz’s tragic death would appear to be one of the most bizarre and controversial cruise ship accidents in recent years. According to media reports, Mr. Albaz’s husband Eric claims that Mr. Albaz was shoved overboard by RCCL crewmembers.
The cruise ship was about 80 miles off the coast of the Bahamas when something went horribly wrong in their cabin, leading to Mr. Albaz’s dangling from the balcony and then falling into a life raft, before toppling into the sea. The horrifying incident was captured in part by another passenger’s cellphone camera. In the footage one can see the man clinging to a lifeboat with the moving sea below.
RCCL claims this was a domestic dispute between the two men–who are apparently married– while the surviving husband claims that RCCL security officers threw Bernardo Albaz overboard. The survivor also claims there had been an incident earlier in the evening at one of the bars, where the men were harassed by RCCL crew members for being openly gay. This is an accusation that RCCL vigorously denies, claiming that Mr. Albaz intentionally jumped to commit suicide.
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The surviving husband is fighting back by suing RCCL.
As a lawyer who sues RCCL as well as the other major cruise lines, I have argued for years that cruise ships should be equipped with mandatory man-overboard detection technology. In this particular case, if RCCL crew were in the cabin with the couple, it seems that RCCL either knew or should have known the moment when Mr. Albaz went overboard. I do not know how or why the man fell–whether he was pushed, fell by accident, or jumped–but I would like to know what RCCL’s response was at the time.
Some reports showed that the ship deployed search boats to assist the US Coast Guard (which has since abandoned its search efforts). I do not believe this is a sufficient response. Was the ship stopped, were infrared cameras utilized, and how long did RCCL take to initiate the search?
If Mr. Albaz’s accusations are proved to be true, there will need to be both a criminal case against the crewmembers and civil case against RCCL for the intentional and negligent wrongful death of the passenger. This could prove to be extremely costly for RCCL, which is currently enjoying unprecedented profits and marketshare.
Like most cases of this nature, this case most likely will be resolved not in the courtroom, but in the boardroom, where cases like this are routinely settled with strict confidentiality terms. Of course, that won’t happen until the lawyers for both Mr. Albaz and RCCL fully investigate the facts–a process that will include taking depositions (sworn interrogations) and conducting extensive background checks on all of the people involved. Most telling will be the CCTV footage of what allegedly transpired earlier that evening in the bar where Mr. Albaz claims the couple were taunted, as well as the footage of them returning to their cabin, along with their bar bill, showing just how much if any alcohol was consumed that day.
Injured On A Royal Caribean Cruise Ship
Our law firm has been battling giant cruise lines like RCCL, Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Princess, Cunard, and Holland America for over 25 years. We fight hard to hold cruise lines accountable when their carelessness injures passengers.
If you have been injured during your cruise, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, lost cruise, and pain and suffering. Not all injuries are viable claims, and our office knows the difference and especially how to prove a case against the cruise lines. Let our years of experience work to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. We provide free initial consultations. Call us toll free at 1-866-597-4529, or email us at [email protected] today, and speak to an experienced cruise ship injury attorney.