Man’s Case Results in U.S. Appellate Court Ruling

Imagine going on a cruise ship for a vacation away from your job in Connecticut. It’s a lot of fun, but what happens if you come down with a flu or respiratory illness? What if someone suffers a heart attack or other emergency situation? Cruise ships often provide doctors on board. Urgent care centers are staffed with doctors and nurses who can treat a range of illnesses from broken bones to life-threatening medical conditions.

What happens, though, if the doctor or nurses make a mistake? Is it possible to hold them responsible through a medical malpractice claim? In the past, it has been difficult to do so. On the week of Nov. 25, the United States Appellate Court made a decision that makes it easier for injured passengers to sue cruise liners for medical malpractice.

This decision was brought about by a case where a man fell during a cruise. He went to seek help at the ship’s hospital, but his daughter claims that the ship’s health care providers didn’t diagnose the man’s head injury soon enough. Because of that, the man later fell into a coma and died.

Because of this man’s case, the United States Appellate Court decided to back the fact that maritime law supports holding the cruise line responsible for the medical negligence of the on-board medical staff.

How does that now affect you? This decision has made it easier to hold cruise lines accountable in the case that their medical teams aren’t working with patients promptly. Because of this determination, you would be able to seek compensation not only from the doctor or nurse involved but also from the cruise line itself.

Source: Huffington Post, “Suing Cruise Ship Doctors for Medical Malpractice” Spencer Aronfeld, Nov. 25, 2014