A Florida federal court jury recently rendered a $10.2 million verdict in favor of a woman who was raped by one of the employees of the cruise ship on which she was a passenger. The passenger contends she had been drinking and was playing hide-and-seek with friends. She ducked into a utility closet to hide from her friends. One of the ship’s crewmembers found her in the closet, locked the closet door, and raped her. The crewmember later claimed the sexual encounter was consensual. The jury obviously disagreed.
Under maritime law, a cruise line owes a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances if one passenger rapes or assaults another passenger. However, a higher duty is owed if the attacker is a crewmember. In those cases, the victim need only show that the assault occurred, that a crewmember assaulted her, that the encounter was not consensual, and that she suffered damages. In other words, cruise lines are generally strictly liable for assaults by its crewmembers on its passengers.
LaGarde Law Firm represents individuals and businesses in lawsuits, mediations, and arbitration proceedings in Texas, Florida, and Louisiana. Many of our clients have relied on our contingent fee arrangement to afford the costs of litigation. If you need to enforce your rights through a lawsuit, mediation, or arbitration and have suffered a substantial loss, call us for a free consultation, Call today, toll free, at 1-866-LAGARDE ( (866) 524-2733), or if you prefer, fill out the form on our CONTACT US page.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and we cannot provide individualized legal advice for your specific case with this article.