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Sexual Assault Aboard a Cruise Ship: Is the Cruise Line Responsible?

Sexual assault happens much more than it should aboard cruise ships. Young women in particular are vulnerable, especially when they are traveling alone or with a group of young friends. However, anyone can be assaulted, regardless of age or gender.

If you were raped or assaulted on a cruise, you are not alone. The cruise ship might be responsible for an assault, and they might have to pay you compensation. Please contact our Miami premises liability attorneys for more information.

Assault by a Crew Member

Alarmingly, some cruises employ people who will assault passengers. The contexts differ on a case-by-case basis, but we see some common scenarios. For example, a passenger might be intoxicated and lured into a private area where they are assaulted. In other cases, crew members gain unauthorized access to a passenger’s cabin where they commit the assault.

In these situations, cruise ships are often automatically liable because they hired the assailant. The cruise also might have failed to perform necessary background checks or have overlooked complaints from prior passengers. Even if they investigated a complaint of harassment, they might have continued to employ the person.

Assault by Fellow Passenger

Other assaults are perpetrated by passengers looking to victimize someone. They have many techniques, including the use of date rape drugs. Even worse, an assailant can quickly disappear after the assault by disembarking at the first port, never to be found again.

When a fellow passenger commits the assault, the ship is not automatically liable. However, they could be if they failed to use reasonable care for the safety of their passengers. Because they control the premises, they must provide adequate security to protect you from other guests onboard.

To this end, cruise ships should investigate complaints of passenger harassment and detain anyone they have reason to believe is a threat. Each cabin should have sufficient security, such as locked doors and adequate lighting. Cruise ships should also notify authorities of any alleged attack and share surveillance video that might have captured the attack. The strongest cases are those where the ship had reason to suspect a passenger was a danger but did not act.

Contact Us to Learn More

Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, is a leading Miami personal injury law firm. Call us at 305-371-2692, if you have been attacked on a cruise ship. We can analyze whether you can bring a suit and against whom.