Yourlawyer.com (Maritime Law News) http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/maritime_law Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:44:48 -0400 Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:44:48 -0400 pixel-app en Company says human error caused ship tilt http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/company-says-human-error-caused-ship-tilt Wed, 26 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/company-says-human-error-caused-ship-tilt
The statement from the California-based cruise line comes as the cause of the accident remains under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board and Bermuda-flag authorities.

"It would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment in any detail before that investigation is complete and the results published," Princess Cruises President Alan Buckelew said in a statement posted on the company's Web site, in the form of a letter to passengers. "However, we can confirm that the incident was due to human error, and the appropriate personnel changes have been made."

Separately, New York-based personal-injury and product-liability law firm Parker & Waichman issued a statement Tuesday, saying it has filed claims against Carnival Corp., which owns Princess Cruises, on behalf of five of the injured passengers who live in New Jersey and Long Island, N.Y.

Coast Guard officials would not comment on Princess' statement, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson said the cruise line will not comment on exactly what happened to cause the accident while the official investigation continues, but said the ship's personnel involved have been reassigned to other duties on the vessel.

Benson said the cruise line has been running its own internal investigation, "side-by-side" with the investigation being conducted by authorities, and issued its statement to assure its passengers that the ship is safe.

"That's all we're prepared to say at this point," she added.

About 3,400 passengers and 1,200 crew members were aboard the ship a week ago, when it tilted offshore, prompting the ship to return to Port Canaveral.

Seven local hospitals treated a total of 116 people injured in the incident, hospital officials said. Princess said about 240 people were treated aboard the ship for various injuries.

Before the accident, the ship on its fourth voyage since being christened June 14 had stopped at Port Canaveral for a port-of-call visit near the end of its nine-day cruise, and was on its way back to New York City.

A representative for the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday that a complete investigation on the Crown Princess incident could take as long as 12 to 18 months to complete.

"We look at everything from a safety standpoint, and we don't validate the safety of a cruise ship," said Keith Holloway, public affairs officer for the NTSB, which investigates air, rail and marine accidents. "We try to figure out what happened, and make recommendations on how to prevent it from happening again."

"We got a lot of calls asking about the safety of the ship, but to make that judgment, that's not our call," Holloway said.

In its statement, Princess said: "We want to unequivocally emphasize that we would never operate an unsafe ship, nor would the U.S. Coast Guard allow a ship to sail that had any safety issues."

The company said it "can appreciate there may be concern as to the cause of this incident, and questions about whether it could happen again. We want to assure passengers who may be booked on an upcoming sailing, or those who may be thinking about traveling with Princess, that the highest priority for our company is the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew."

The statement also said the company expresses "our sincerest apologies for this regrettable event, and fully understand that this was a distressing experience for all who were on board. We especially extend our apologies to those passengers and crew who were injured."

Crown Princess left New York Saturday on a seven-day Caribbean voyage, having received clearance to sail by the Coast Guard and the Bermuda flag authorities.]]>
Cruise ship accident blamed on human error http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-accident-blamed-on-human-error Wed, 26 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-accident-blamed-on-human-error
The letter, signed by President Alan Buckelew, states that U.S. authorities continue to investigate the July 18 incident, and therefore it's too soon to comment in any detail about what went wrong.

''However,'' Buckelew said, ``we can confirm that the incident was due to human error, and the appropriate personnel changes have been made.''

The 3,100-passenger Crown Princess was sailing in calm seas 11 miles off Port Canaveral when it suddenly titled about 15 degrees to one side, then righted itself 30 seconds later.

Up to 240 people sustained injuries such as abrasions, bruises and fractures after being knocked off their feet or hit by flying objects. Of those, 94 were sent to hospitals, and all but one had been released as of Tuesday, Princess said. The cruise line, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., said it expects everyone to fully recover.

Crew members initially told U.S. authorities that there was a problem with the ship's steering equipment. Spokeswoman Julie Benson said Princess posted the letter on its website late Monday to reassure people that the ship is safe.

''We have continued to receive questions from passengers and potential passengers wanting to know that this could not happen again,'' Benson said. ``Clearly, it's been a high-profile event in the media. We wanted to emphatically say, `You will enjoy a safe vacation'.''

The Crown Princess returned Saturday to its home port of New York and quickly embarked on a week-long voyage to the Turks and Caicos Islands. About 15 percent of passengers booked on the voyage ended up canceling, though subsequent voyages remain full, Benson said.

The Coast Guard, which is investigating the tilt along with the National Transportation Safety Board, said it is still weeks or maybe even months away from making a final determination about the cause. Even so, Luis Diaz, a Coast Guard spokesman in Miami, did not dispute the cruise line's claim that human error is to blame.

''It's their vessel, and if they want to go ahead and say that, they have the right,'' Diaz said. He also said investigators traveled aboard the Bermuda-flagged Crown Princess last week during its return to New York and found no problems with the ship.

David Brams, president of World Wide Cruises in Fort Lauderdale, said he's relieved that the ship itself is not to blame. Brams has 20 passengers booked on the Crown Princess for its next scheduled departure Saturday and believes a ''human error'' can be fixed more quickly than a mechanical one.

''They'll put in new procedures to make sure this does not happen again,'' he said.

Benson declined to name the person or people believed responsible for the tilt. She said they have been taken off active duty and are helping with the investigation. The ship's captain remains in command, she said, adding: ``We have the utmost confidence in him.''

California-based Princess, which operates a fleet of 15 ships, cited human error in a similar incident aboard the Grand Princess in February.

The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess made a sharp turn after departing Galveston, Texas, while seeking shore-side medical care for a passenger in cardiac arrest. Nearly 30 passengers sustained minor injuries when the ship tilted, Benson said.

The Crown Princess, which was christened last month in New York by Martha Stewart, is the cruise line's newest ship.]]>
Parker & Waichman, LLP Files Claims Against Carnival Corp. On Behalf of Five Passengers Injured After Crown Princess Cruise Ship Listed to the Right on July 18, 2006 - CCL http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/parker-waichman-llp-files-claims-against-carnival-corp-on-behalf-of-five-passengers-injured-after-crown-princess-cruise-ship-listed-to-the-right-on-july-18-2006-ccl Tue, 25 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/parker-waichman-llp-files-claims-against-carnival-corp-on-behalf-of-five-passengers-injured-after-crown-princess-cruise-ship-listed-to-the-right-on-july-18-2006-ccl
Parker & Waichman, LLP is currently investigating additional claims from passengers and crew members. Passengers can request a free lawsuit case consultation at http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/cruise_ship_injuries. Injured crew members can request a free lawsuit case consultation by visiting http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/cruise_ship_injuries or http://www.maritimelegalhelp.com.

The ship, which weighs approximately 113,000 tons, had more than 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew members aboard when the incident occurred. While the actual cause of the problem will be determined after the NTSB and Coast Guard finish their investigation, it is believed that the incident was caused by a malfunction of one of the components in the steering equipment, autopilot, ballast systems and/or software controlling the equipment, or human error by the bridge crew. Similar incidents have happened in the past. The ship has since departed for Brooklyn, New York, with investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB aboard. Carnival currently intends to put the ship back into service this Saturday, even if the investigation is not completed.

About Parker & Waichman, LLP

Parker & Waichman, LLP is a leading personal injury and products liability law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York and New Jersey. Parker & Waichman, LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from accidents, malpractice, defective medications and medical devices. The firm is currently representing individuals injured by Vioxx, Bextra, Zyprexa, Ketek, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Ortho Evra, Guidant Defibrillators and many other defective drugs and medical products. Parker & Waichman, LLP serves as a member of the plaintiffs' steering committee in Federal Ortho Evra and Zyprexa litigation. For more information on Parker & Waichman, LLP please visit: www.yourlawyer.com or call (800) YOURLAWYER.

CONTACT: Parker & Waichman, LLP
         Jason Mark, Esq.
         (800) YOURLAWYER
         Toll-free: (800) 968-7529
         info@yourlawyer.com
         www.yourlawyer.com
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Cruise Ship Crown Princess Tilt Blamed on 'Human Error' http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-crown-princess-tilt-blamed-on-human-error Tue, 25 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-crown-princess-tilt-blamed-on-human-error
"We can confirm that the incident was due to human error and the appropriate personnel changes have been made," a Princess Cruise Lines statement said.

While Princess declined to go into any additional detail, a spokesperson confirmed that the ship's captain, who was not on the bridge when the incident occurs, "remains in command."

The ship is back in service, sailing on Nov. 22nd with 2,700 passengers on a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean.

The statement appeared to at least in part confirm an Orlando television station's report that when the ship's automatic pilot started making a left turn, an officer on the bridge thought the ship was turning too sharply and "panicked," taking the ship out of automatic pilot.

The junior officer then accidentally kept the ship in an even sharper turn, according to television station WESH, causing an estimated 15 to 18 degree list that emptied swimming poools, overturned large slot machines and exercise machines in the spa, and sent passengers tumbling.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which along with the Coast Guard and a British agency are investigating the incident, earlier said that a complete investigation on the Crown Princess cruise ship incident could take as long as 12 to 18 months to complete.

"We try to figure out what happened and make recommendations on how to prevent it from happening again," said Keith Holloway, public affairs officer for the NTSB.

"We can appreciate there may be concern as to the cause of this incident, and questions about whether it could happen again," Princess said in an open letter to passengers posted on its website.

"As you may be aware, there is an investigation into the incident being carried out by the U.S. authorities which has not yet been fully completed. It would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment in any detail before that investigation is complete and the results published.

"We want to unequivocally emphasize that we would never operate an unsafe ship, nor would the U.S. Coast Guard allow a ship to sail that had any safety issues.

"We want to assure passengers who may be booked on an upcoming sailing, or those who may be thinking about traveling with Princess, that the highest priority for our company is the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew," Princess added.
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Company blames cruise ship mishap on bridge officer's error http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/company-blames-cruise-ship-mishap-on-bridge-officers-error Tue, 25 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/company-blames-cruise-ship-mishap-on-bridge-officers-error
Los Angeles-based Princess didn't specify the mistake, or add much detail, saying the incident is still under investigation by regulators.

But in an open letter to passengers posted on the line's Web site, Princess President Alan Buckelew said human error was the cause of the incident. "The appropriate personnel changes have been made," the letter said.

Princess declined to spell out what those changes were. It said the error was not made by the ship's captain, who continues to command the $500 million vessel, but by another officer who is no longer on active duty.

Several officers besides the captain of a cruise ship are typically qualified to steer, including the staff captain and first officer.

On July 18, the 3,100-passenger Crown Princess suddenly listed 15 degrees to the side for about 30 seconds as it left Port Canaveral on its way back to New York. The tilt sent objects cascading across the deck. Princess treated 240 passengers onboard.

In his letter, Buckelew said all but one of the hospitalized passengers have been released.

Separately, a New York law firm said Tuesday it had filed claims against the parent company of Princess, Miami-based Carnival Corp.

In a statement, Parker & Waichman said it represents five passengers from New Jersey and Long Island, New York, who suffered broken bones and lacerations from being thrown to the deck. The firm didn't say where or when the claims were filed, and efforts to reach an attorney designated by the firm as a spokesman were unsuccessful.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Coast Guard and authorities in Bermuda where Crown Princess was flagged are investigating what happened on the ship. Early reports, attributed to crew, blamed a malfunction in the steering possibly from an autopilot failure.

Keith Holloway, a spokesman for the NTSB, said the agency hasn't released any findings about the cause of the Crown Princess accident and had no comment on Buckelew's letter.

Crown Princess was delivered in June from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and was on its fourth cruise when the problem occurred.]]>
Cruise ship's sudden tilt not an isolated incident http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ships-sudden-tilt-not-an-isolated-incident Sun, 23 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ships-sudden-tilt-not-an-isolated-incident
The accidents occurred on ships run by three major cruise lines, including Princess Cruises, which operates the month-old Crown Princess, which injured 93 people Tuesday when it lurched to one side about 11 miles off Port Canaveral, Fla.

The incidents, described on a cruise Web site and confirmed by some cruise line officials, raise the issue of whether such accidents are more frequent than industry trade groups contend.

"The recent listing of the Crown Princess is an uncommon occurrence for cruise ships," the International Council of Cruise Lines said Wednesday in a statement.

But earlier this year, 27 passengers were hurt on a Princess Cruises ship after a sudden list caused by the captain. In another case, a computer glitch on the Carnival Legend last July caused the ship to list 14 degrees to the side, an angle similar to the list on the Crown Princess. There were minor injuries, Miami-based Carnival Corp. said.

One reason for uncertainty about the number of such incidents is that no one keeps an official count of them. Cruise lines aren't required to report them, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson, except if they cause serious injuries or property damage.

Ships are designed to roll in the waves, but when a tilt endures for more than five or 10 seconds, it becomes a list. It signifies that the ship is moving forward with the deck at a stable angle, rather than level.

When it happens abruptly, things go flying. That occurred July 13, 2005, on the 2,680-passenger Carnival Legend as it left Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands.

According to a passenger who left an account on an Internet message board, a hard left turn combined with a strong wind pushed the ship into the 14-degree list.

"(It) felt like the ship was going to turn over; pool water and debris streamed past our window. Crew members said they had never experienced a list of that degree," said the account, on the Web site Cruisejunkie.com, which is run by a Canadian professor who has written two books about cruising.

In a statement issued last July, Carnival blamed a computer malfunction that affected the propulsion system.

That also is suspected as the cause of the Crown Princess accident, although no firm conclusion has been made. Steering, including the autopilot on the bridge, is one subject of the investigation under way by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Although keeping an officer at the ship's controls would seem the best policy, human error also causes listing incidents. In February, a passenger on the Grand Princess had a heart attack and the captain decided to return to Galveston, Texas.

He turned hard at cruising speed. "It was a sharper turn than should have been undertaken," said Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson. Glassware, ornaments and TV sets went airborne, according to an account in the Galveston County Daily News. Twenty-seven passengers and 10 crew members were treated for sprains, cuts and bruises.

Searching for Explanations

One question about last week's Crown Princess mishap is why it caused so many more injuries than other recent listing incidents.

Ron Butcher, a former Coast Guard inspector who recently wrote a book on cruise passenger safety, said the cause of the list may be different than other incidents, such as a mistake in keeping the ballast in the ship's holding tanks in proper alignment.

Butcher also said he wonders whether investigators may conclude the list on the ship was more acute than is currently thought.

"A 15-degree list, while serious, I don't see as consistent with the amount of damage that occurred," Butcher said.]]>
'Listing' of cruise ship not isolated http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/listing-of-cruise-ship-not-isolated Fri, 21 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/listing-of-cruise-ship-not-isolated
The accidents occurred on ships run by three major cruise lines, including Princess Cruises, which operates the month-old Crown Princess which sent more than 90 people to the hospital Tuesday as it lurched to the side about 11 miles out of Port Canaveral.

On Thursday afternoon, the Crown Princess headed to its home port of New York after being cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is scheduled to set sail on a seven-day cruise Saturday.

The incidents, described on a cruise Web site and confirmed by some cruise-line officials, raise the issue of whether such accidents are more frequent than industry trade groups contend. They also underscore the fear and danger experienced by some passengers.

"The recent listing of the Crown Princess is an uncommon occurrence for cruise ships," the International Council of Cruise Lines said Wednesday in a statement.

But earlier this year, 27 passengers were hurt on a Princess Cruises ship after a sudden list caused by the captain. In another case, a computer glitch on the Carnival Legend last July caused the ship to list 14 degrees to the side, an angle similar to the list on the Crown Princess. There were minor injuries, Miami-based Carnival Corp. said.

One reason for uncertainty about the number of such incidents is that no one keeps an official count of them. But the Web site cruisejunkie.com lists 11 cases since 2002, including the seven since 2005.

Cruise lines aren't required to report them, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson, except if they cause serious injuries or property damage.

Ships are designed to roll in the waves, but when a tilt endures for more than five or 10 seconds it becomes a list.

Such a problem occurred July 13, 2005, on the 2,680-passenger Carnival Legend as it left Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands.

In the words of a passenger who left an account on an Internet message board, a hard left turn combined with a strong wind pushed the ship into a 14-degree list. "(It) felt like the ship was going to turn over; pool water and debris streamed past our window.

"Crew members said they had never experienced a list of that degree," said the account, on cruisejunkie.com, which is run by a Canadian professor who has written two books about cruising.

In a statement issued last July, Carnival blamed a computer malfunction that affected the propulsion system.

That is also suspected as the cause of the Crown Princess accident, although no firm conclusion has been made.

Steering, including the autopilot on the bridge, is one subject of the investigation under way by the National Transportation Safety Board as to why the ship rolled about 15 degrees to the right, injuring 240. Earlier, Coast Guard reports said the ship listed to the left, but officials changed that accounting.

In 2001, the Norwegian Sky listed dramatically off Alaska when the autopilot failed, injuring 78 passengers. The Coast Guard ordered the ship to sail without its autopilot engaged until the cause was found.

"It listed way over; the lifeboats were in the water," said Donald Anderson of Evergreen, Colo., who was on the Norwegian Sky when it listed.

He said he was surprised to learn this week that the incidents are more common than he thought.

"We just thought it was a freak accident that would never happen again, so when you see it happen again you say, 'Whoa, that's interesting,' " Anderson said. "It was frightening."

Human error and bad weather also caused recent listings.

In February, a passenger on the Grand Princess had a heart attack and the captain decided to return to Galveston, Texas.

He turned hard at cruising speed. "It was a sharper turn than should have been undertaken," said Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson. Glassware, ornaments and TV sets went airborne, according an account in The Galveston County Daily News.

Twenty-seven passengers and 10 crew members were treated for sprains, cuts and bruises, Benson said. Also, 82 televisions were smashed.

Last October, while offshore waiting the passage of Hurricane Wilma, the Carnival ship Fascination tipped severely. According to a passenger account, several people were injured.

Jennifer De La Cruz, a Carnival spokeswoman, said managers recall a weather incident on Fascination in the latter part of last year but do not recall any injuries.

One question about this week's mishap is why it caused so many more injuries than other recent listing incidents.

Ron Butcher, a former Coast Guard inspector who has recently published a book on cruise-passenger safety, said the cause of the list may be different from other incidents, such as a mistake in keeping the ballast in the ship's holding tanks in proper alignment.

Butcher also said he wonders whether investigators may conclude the list on the ship was more acute than is currently thought.

"A 15 degree list, while serious, I don't see as consistent with the amount of damage that occurred," Butcher said.
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Injury total on tilted cruise ship up sharply http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/injury-total-on-tilted-cruise-ship-up-sharply Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/injury-total-on-tilted-cruise-ship-up-sharply
Federal investigators said they intend to find out why the Crown Princess tilted so sharply Tuesday afternoon as it sailed in calm seas about 11 miles off the Florida coast near Port Canaveral.

The Bermuda-registered ship was on automatic pilot when it leaned 15 degrees to its left side, then righted itself 30 seconds later, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Sunbathers were thrown from their loungers. TVs flew off shelves. And the pool became a ''mini-tsunami,'' emptying people onto the pavement.

Crew members told the Coast Guard there was a problem with the ship's steering equipment, spokesman James Judge said. So far, crew members have turned up negative results for drug and alcohol tests, he said.

Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., said 240 people sustained injuries such as abrasions, bruises and fractures. Of those, 94 were taken to hospitals near Port Canaveral for treatment and evaluation. All but five have been released, and even they were expected to fully recover, the cruise line said.

''We're lucky that most of the passengers are fine, and the ship looks like it will be fine, too,'' spokeswoman Julie Benson said.

The Crown Princess, which began sailing only a month ago, was to have left Brooklyn today for a nine-day tour of the Caribbean. Instead, the ship is expected to depart Saturday for a seven-day cruise. It remains in Port Canaveral, where it is awaiting approval from the Coast Guard to set sail for Brooklyn.

Princess said it will give passengers who go ahead with the shortened cruise a 50 percent refund. Those who decide against taking the cruise will get their money back.

The Crown Princess was carrying about 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew members when it departed Port Canaveral after visiting Grand Turk, Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. Initial reports put the number injured at slightly less than 100.

The cruise line said ''considerable superficial'' damage was done to the interior of the ship, and it expects repairs quickly.

Investigators said they first heard about the accident from the mother of a passenger who called from a cellphone Tuesday at 3:50 p.m., about 10 minutes after it occurred. Investigators then got ahold of the ship's crew about 10 minutes later and received confirmation, Judge said. He added that investigators were satisfied that the ship's crew did their best to inform them.

''Yes, it's the cruise ship's responsibility to notify us when something like this happens. However, its first responsibility is the safety of passengers on board,'' Judge said. ``All things considered, it was very reasonable.''

OTHER ACCIDENTS

Tuesday's accident was not the first of its kind for California-based Princess, which operates a fleet of 15 ships. In February, the Grand Princess had just departed Galveston, Texas, when a passenger suffered a heart attack and required medical care on shore. The ship made a sharp turn back toward Galveston and listed to one side, causing minor injuries to 27 passengers, Benson said. Princess blamed the captain, who now oversees the San Francisco-based Regal Princess.

Autopilot failure caused a sudden turn and list that injured more than 70 people aboard the Norwegian Sky in 2001. The Sky had been returning to Seattle from an Alaska cruise when a computer error apparently caused the malfunction, according to news accounts. The Coast Guard cleared the ship to continue operating but ordered that its autopilot not be used.

Tuesday's accident also follows a series of mishaps on cruise ships, including a fatal fire aboard the Star Princess in March, a pirate attack against the Seabourn Spirit near Somalia in November, and the mysterious death of Connecticut honeymooner George Smith while on a Royal Caribbean cruise a year ago.

CAUTIOUS TRAVELERS

David Brams, president of World Wide Cruises in Fort Lauderdale, said the latest incident with the Crown Princess might cause some travelers to think twice about taking a cruise. But he said he has 20 customers booked on the ship's July 29 sailing, and no one has yet canceled.

''I don't think it will have a lasting impact,'' Brams said.

Stewart Chiron, president of Miami-based Joystar Cruises, said the incident prompted several calls to his office, but he's not worried about a repeat. ''I wouldn't think twice about sailing on this ship tomorrow,'' he said.]]>
'We thought we were gone' says cruise passenger http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/we-thought-we-were-gone-says-cruise-passenger Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/we-thought-we-were-gone-says-cruise-passenger
The incident aboard the Crown Princess, which listed about 15 degrees to the right and sent passengers flying, is similar to one in February on a sister ship, the Grand Princess, that has since been blamed on mistakes by the bridge crew.

In the earlier incident, the cause "was strictly human error, and that captain was reprimanded," says Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson. Though the line "hasn't ruled anything out" in Tuesday's event, "two possibilities that we're looking at are something in the steering system and human error."

Benson says the line expects to have a final answer on the cause of the latest accident, which is being investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board, "within days."

The Crown Princess rolled suddenly to the right Tuesday afternoon just hours after departing Port Canaveral, Fla., for New York on the final leg of a nine-day Caribbean voyage. But Benson says the ship never was in danger of overturning.

About 240 of the 3,450 passengers were treated onboard for injuries ranging from cuts to broken bones, Benson says. Of those, 94 were sent to hospitals upon return to Port Canaveral. As of late Wednesday, all but four had been released; Benson says the patients are "expected to make a full recovery."

"It was like Niagara Falls. People who were in the pool were washed out of the pool," says Alfred Caproni of North Adams, Mass., who says he was thrown to the deck as the ship rolled. "There were dozens of people with broken noses, bloody noses. We thought we were gone."

Hanford Ndlovu of Hershey, Pa., who was on the ship's pool deck at the time, says furniture and people were "falling and flying. It looked like some people over by the banister were barely holding on."

A Princess statement called the damage to the ship "considerable" but "superficial" and said it could be repaired quickly. The ship resumes service Saturday from Brooklyn, N.Y. Passengers on this trip, who were originally scheduled to depart today, will receive a 50% refund for the two lost days or can choose to cancel outright for a full refund.

The Crown is the fifth in a series of nearly identical "Grand Class" ships, which have transported more than 1 million passengers safely over the past eight years. They have an almost unblemished safety record, says Mike Driscoll, editor of Cruise Week newsletter.

Benson says Princess is giving passengers on this week's cruise full refunds and will pay for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the incident. UBS stock analyst Robin Farley estimates that will cost Princess' parent company, Carnival, $6 million to $10 million.

Travel agencies with customers on upcoming Princess sailings say they're being flooded with calls. "Nobody is looking to cancel," says David Brams of World Wide Cruises in Fort Lauderdale. "I think most people realize this is a fluke thing."

Brams says the incident is the most bizarre thing he's seen in nearly 20 years in the business. "It's very unusual."
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Cruise ship accident investigated http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-accident-investigated Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-accident-investigated
The Coast Guard also questioned why authorities first learned of the trouble not from the captain, but from the mother of a passenger who had called her from the ship.

The Crown Princess rolled 15 degrees to its right Tuesday afternoon about 11 1/2 miles off Port Canaveral, throwing passengers, TV sets and other objects against the deck and walls. The ship slowly came back up after 30 to 40 seconds, by passengers' estimates, then returned to port.

The crew reported a steering problem aboard the 113,000-ton vessel, which was christened only last month. The ship was sailing through calm seas, and there was no indication that a rogue wave or foul play contributed to the roll, officials said.

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

"We'll look at weather, we'll look at stability issues and we'll look at mechanical issues," Coast Guard Cmdr. James McLaughlin said.

As passengers boarded buses for the airport Wednesday, many recounted the terrifying scene. Some sobbed and clutched loved ones.

"Another 20 degrees and I would have been in the water," said Alfred Caproni of North Adams, Mass., who was on his balcony on the ninth deck. "All the water from the pools was coming right over the edge. It was like Niagara Falls. There were dozens of people with bleeding noses."

Gerald Brock, a surgeon from Ontario, Canada, said he helped ship doctors treat dozens of passengers with such injuries as broken bones, dislocated joints, shortness of breath and chest pains.

The cruise line reported that all 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew members were accounted for, but the Coast Guard was still verifying that information Wednesday.

"There is a possibility when you take a roll like that that somebody could have gone overboard," McLaughlin said.

About 240 passengers were treated onboard for minor injuries, according to Princess Cruises.

Ninety-eight people were taken to the hospital, including a child and an adult who were critically injured.

Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson said all passengers on the nine-day Western Caribbean cruise ending in New York would receive a full refund.

A similar incident occurred in February on a ship also operated by Princess. The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess left the Port of Galveston but soon turned around after a passenger suffered a heart attack. The ship tipped sharply on its side, injuring 27 passengers and 10 crew members. That incident was blamed on human error, Benson said.]]>
Parker & Waichman, LLP Retained by Three Passengers Injured after Crown Princess Cruise Ship Listed to the Right; Firm Currently Evaluating Cases on Behalf of Other Injured Passengers and Crew Members - Firm Criticizes Carnival’s Plan to Continue Using http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/parker-waichman-llp-retained-by-three-passengers-injured-after-crown-princess-cruise-ship-listed-to-the-right-firm-currently-evaluating-cases-on-behalf-of-other-injured-passengers-and-crew-members-firm-criticizes-carnivals-plan-to-continue-using Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/parker-waichman-llp-retained-by-three-passengers-injured-after-crown-princess-cruise-ship-listed-to-the-right-firm-currently-evaluating-cases-on-behalf-of-other-injured-passengers-and-crew-members-firm-criticizes-carnivals-plan-to-continue-using
Parker & Waichman, LLP is currently investigating additional claims from passengers and crew members. Passengers can request a free lawsuit case consultation at http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/cruise_ship_injuries . Injured crew members can request a free lawsuit case consultation by visiting http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/cruise_ship_injuries or http://www.maritimelegalhelp.com.

The ship, which weighs approximately 113,000 tons, had more than 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew members aboard when the incident occurred. While the actual cause of the problem will be determined after the NTSB and Coast Guard finish their investigation, it is believed that the incident was caused by a malfunction of the steering equipment, or human error by the bridge crew. Similar incidents have happened in the past. The ship has since departed for Brooklyn, New York, with investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB aboard. Carnival currently intends to put the ship back into service this Saturday, even if the investigation is not completed.

“The investigation into the cause of the problem has only just begun. We believe Carnival has jeopardized the safety of the ship’s crew members by requiring them to sail to New York today,” said Jerrold S. Parker, partner at Parker & Waichman, LLP. “The company’s plan to put passengers back on the boat this Saturday, before the safety investigation is concluded, is grossly irresponsible. We call on the NTSB and Coast Guard to require that Carnival keep the ship docked until it is deemed safe and bear responsibility for the injuries of passengers and crewmembers in this latest safety breach.”

About Parker & Waichman, LLP

Parker & Waichman, LLP is a leading personal injury and products liability law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in New York and New Jersey. Parker & Waichman, LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from defective medications and medical devices. The firm is currently representing individuals injured by Vioxx, Bextra, Zyprexa, Ketek, ReNu with MoistureLoc, Ortho Evra, Guidant Defibrillators and many other defective drugs and medical products. Parker & Waichman, LLP serves as a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee in Federal Ortho Evra and Zyprexa litigation. For more information on Parker & Waichman, LLP please visit: www.yourlawyer.com or call (800) YOURLAWYER.
Related Links

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http://www.maritimelegalhelp.com
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Boat Accidents

Contact Information:

Jason Mark
Esq.
Parker & Waichman, LLP
(800) 968-7529
info@yourlawyer.com]]>
Cruise Ship Mishap Injures Dozens http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-mishap-injures-dozens Wed, 19 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-mishap-injures-dozens
"Tables, glasses, lounge chairs went flying," passenger Tom Daus, 32 of New York told The Associated Press in a cell phone interview from the ship. "I was just holding on for dear life onto the bannister."

The Crown Princess was 11 1/2 miles southeast of Port Canaveral en route to New York late Tuesday afternoon when its crew reported problems with the steering equipment and the 113,000-ton ship listed hard to one side, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said.

It slowly came back up, leaving a scene of terrified passengers scattered across its decks, halls and casino, then headed for the port.

John Hart, 49, of Ontario, Calif., said he had never been so scared on a cruise ship and might never board one again.

"I thought it was going over," he said.

All 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew members were accounted for, the Coast Guard said. But at least 14 people suffered serious injuries, including a child and an adult with injuries considered critical. About 70 others had lesser injuries, said Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue Capt. Jim Watson.

Some passengers left the ship late Tuesday night after it reached Port Canaveral, and buses shuttled others to an airport Wednesday morning.

Stan Payne, CEO of the Canaveral Port Authority, said the ship would remain there for several days. The Coast Guard planned to inspect it Wednesday, and Princess Cruises one of 12 brands operated by Miami-based Carnival Corp. said it was investigating what caused the severe list. It wasn't immediately clear how far over the ship tipped.

"We deeply regret this incident and are doing everything we can to make our passengers as comfortable as possible under these difficult circumstances," company spokeswoman Julie Benson said. She said all passengers would receive a full refund and reimbursement for additional expenses.

Some passengers said the ship was already tilting Tuesday morning, even before the sudden roll to the side.

Martha Lynn George said she at first thought something was wrong with her bed when she awoke but then realized the whole ship was slightly tilted. She and her husband were in the buffet area Tuesday afternoon when the ship suddenly rolled. If her husband hadn't grabbed her, she said, she would have gone flying through a glass window.

"We were seeing the sky the ship tilted that much," George told ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "I really thought this was it."

On deck, "The water came gushing out of the pool like a mini tsunami," Daus said. "People who were in the pool were shoved out."

John Joyce, on his honeymoon with his wife, Rebecca, said he had gone downstairs to see about booking another cruise when the ship began to tilt.

"I watched the grand piano come tumbling by me," he told NBC's "Today" show. "I just assumed my wife was already in the ocean."

Tables were piled on top of one man in the ship's casino and his head was bleeding, said Steve Tibus, 54, of Edgewater, N.J. He said his own wife had to be treated for injuries to her head and legs after furniture hit her.

"You just got scared, and you knew something was wrong, and you just hung on," he said.

The Crown Princess was on a nine-day Western Caribbean cruise and had just left Port Canaveral on Tuesday afternoon. It had been scheduled to return to New York on Thursday.
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Cruise ship investigation is planned http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-investigation-is-planned Wed, 19 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/cruise-ship-investigation-is-planned
"Another 20 degrees and I would have been in the water," said Alfred Caproni, of North Adams, Mass., who was on his balcony on the ninth deck. "All the water from the pools was coming right over the edge. It was like Niagara Falls."

The Crown Princess was 11 1/2 miles southeast of Port Canaveral en route to New York late Tuesday afternoon when its crew reported problems with the steering equipment and the 113,000-ton ship listed hard to one side, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said.

It slowly came back up, leaving a scene of terrified passengers scattered across its decks, halls and casino, then headed for the port.

Gerald Brock, a surgeon from Ontario, Canada, said Wednesday he assisted ship doctors in the triage room treating "dozens of passengers" with injuries ranging from fractures and dislocated joints to elderly people suffering shortness of breath and chest pains.

All 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew members were accounted for, the Coast Guard said. Ninety-four people were taken to hospitals, and at least 20 had serious injuries, including a child and an adult with injuries considered critical, cruise line and port officials said.

Three passengers and two crew members remained hospitalized Wednesday, Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson said. Details about their injuries were not released, but Benson said they were expected to fully recover, she said.

Some passengers left the ship late Tuesday after it reached Port Canaveral, and buses shuttled others to an airport Wednesday morning.

Payne said the ship would remain at the port for several days. The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board planned to inspect it Wednesday, and Princess Cruises one of 12 brands operated by Miami-based Carnival Corp. said it was investigating what caused the severe list. It wasn't immediately clear how far over the ship tipped.

"We deeply regret this incident and are doing everything we can to make our passengers as comfortable as possible under these difficult circumstances," Benson said. She said all passengers would receive a full refund and reimbursement for additional expenses.

Some passengers said the ship was already tilting Tuesday morning, even before the sudden roll to the side.

Martha Lynn George said she at first thought something was wrong with her bed when she awoke but then realized the whole ship was slightly tilted. She and her husband were in the buffet area Tuesday afternoon when the ship suddenly rolled. If her husband hadn't grabbed her, she said, she would have gone flying through a glass window.

"We were seeing the sky, the ship tilted that much," George told ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "I really thought this was it."

Caproni said he held the balcony tightly as the ship brought him nearly face to face with the ocean.

"I fell to the deck. I had to crawl to get back in my room," he said. "It was the most scary thing. We thought we were gone. We thought it was over."

The Crown Princess had been christened by Martha Stewart last month before it embarked on its maiden voyage to the Caribbean from its home terminal in Brooklyn. It was on a nine-day Western Caribbean cruise, had stopped at Port Canaveral and was scheduled to return to New York on Thursday.]]>
Dozens injured after cruise ship tilts http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/dozens-injured-after-cruise-ship-tilts Tue, 18 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/dozens-injured-after-cruise-ship-tilts
The ship had returned to port, where medical personnel were treating the injured. No deaths had been reported and all passengers and crew had been accounted for, authorities said.

The Crown Princess, which can hold 3,000 passengers, was 11 1/2 miles southeast of Port Canaveral en route to New York when it experienced problems with its steering equipment, causing it to roll abruptly to its port side, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said.

Judge could not immediately say how severely the 113,000-ton ship listed. It first sailed last month.

Among the critically injured was a child, officials said. Another 10 people were seriously hurt and about 30 had lesser injuries, said Fire Rescue Capt. Jim Watson.

"There were people running for life jackets, and then afterward a lot of people hugging and crying, people looking for children," Carol O'Connell told NBC's Miami affiliate, WTVJ-TV, by phone.

"The captain came on and made an announcement that there was a problem with the steering mechanism and the captain sounded so terrified, which led to my feeling of more panic," she said.

O'Connell said she saw flooding, tables overturned and lots of broken glass.

The ship is owned by Princess Cruises, one of 12 brands operated by Miami-based Carnival Corp. The company said it was investigating the cause of the incident. The ship had just left Port Canaveral, on Florida's east coast, after a nine-day Western Caribbean cruise.

"We deeply regret this incident, and are doing everything we can to make our passengers as comfortable as possible under these difficult circumstances," company spokeswoman Julie Benson said.]]>
Dozens injured when cruise ship tips http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/dozens-injured-when-cruise-ship-tips Tue, 18 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/title/dozens-injured-when-cruise-ship-tips
Two victims were airlifted to local hospitals, according to paramedics that the Coast Guard transported to the ship as it returned to port. Ten ambulances, three helicopters, four buses and mass-casualty trailers were awaiting its return from the Atlantic Ocean.

Paramedics at the port said they were prepared to care for up to 100 passengers.

The critically injured passenger was a child. The child and one parent will be taken by helicopter to either Orlando or Melbourne, said Brevard County emergency management spokesman Bob Lay.

At least six passengers were seriously injured, the Cape Canaveral Fire Department said.

Rosalyn Postel, spokeswoman for port, said some passengers suffered broken bones, but she did not know the extent of other injuries. Princess Cruise Lines, which operates the Crown Princess, said in a statement that there were "numerous reports" of cuts, bruises and fractures.

The New York-bound ship developed a problem with its rudder, causing it to take a "heavy roll," listing hard to one side about two hours after its departure from Port Canaveral, the Coast Guard said.

Passenger Carol O'Connell told a Miami, Florida, television station that she saw flooding, overturned tables and broken glass everywhere, according to The Associated Press.

"There were people running for life jackets, and then afterward a lot of people hugging and crying, people looking for children," O'Connell told WTVJ-TV by phone. "The captain sounded so terrified, which led to my feeling of more panic."

Princess Cruise Lines said in a statement that the incident occurred at about 3:40 p.m. ET

"The ship is safe and seaworthy, and we are currently investigating the cause of the list," the statement said. "We are currently assessing the full extent of passenger injuries and have returned the ship to Port Canaveral to transfer the more seriously affected passengers to a medical facility ashore."

The statement also said that while the cause of the problem was unknown, "the watertight integrity of the ship has not been compromised, and it is safe for passengers to remain onboard while the ship is alongside in Port Canaveral."

The Crown Princess was on a nine-day Western Caribbean excursion out of New York, having made stops at Grand Turk, Ocho Rios, on Jamaica, and Grand Cayman Island. Port Canaveral was its last port of call before returning to New York.]]>
Maritime Law Admiralty Lawsuit Claims http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/maritime_law Tue, 18 Jul 2006 00:00:00 -0400 http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/maritime_law Maritime Law Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is the area of law that governs navigation and shipping. Differing from workers compensation laws, maritime law is specific to seamen, longshoremen and other workers on the seas. Employers are required to maintain a reasonably safe working condition and are liable for the negligence of any of its unsafe conditions, officers, agents or employees.

Parker Waichman LLP, LLP represents clients whose injuries fall  under specific maritime laws including: Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and Unseaworthiness Claims. If you were injured and need the help of an experienced maritime lawyer, contact Parker & Waichman, LLP tfor a free lawsuit case consultation.

Jones Act Cases

The Jones Act governs the liability of vessel operators & marine employers for the work-related injury or death of an employee. The Jones Act permits seamen who have been injured by the negligence of their employers or co-workers while working on the vessel to seek compensation for both past and future economic and non-economic losses. The Jones Act is a federal law meant to ensure that all seamen's injuries throughout the nation would be guided by the same liability standards. While the Jones Act is intended to protect seamen it differs significantly from workers' compensation laws. Unlike workers’ compensation, the Jones Act does not require payment regardless of fault. Injured seaman can only win recovery if they prove their injury was the result of negligence by the vessel's owners, operators, officers, or co-workers fellow employees or by a defect in the vessel or its equipment. An employer may be held liable for failing to provide an injured worker adequate medical care. In addition to the employer, a seaman can file suit against a vessel’s owner claiming the vessel was unseaworthy.

Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) Cases

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act or LHWCA provides protection to maritime workers who are injured on navigable waters. This act was created to fill the gap between the Jones Act and state worker’s compensation laws. While the Jones Act provides protection to seamen and state workers' compensation laws only apply to injuries that occur in a particular state, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides protection to non-seamen who are injured on navigable water.

Compensation for injuries covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is administered by the Federal Department of Labor. Injured workers who qualify for coverage under LHWCA are entitled to disability benefits. Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act an injured person’s right to benefits is not contingent on proving the employer was at fault for the employee’s injuries. This differs from the Jones Act which requires the injured seaman to prove negligence or fault.

Free Lawsuit Consultation
If you have been injured at sea contact Parker Waichman LLP, LLP today to have an experienced maritime attorney evaluate your case for free. Our maritime lawyers will determine if your case falls under the Jones Act, LHWCA or other admiralty laws. Complete the contact form on this page to have your case evaluated today.]]>