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Cruise Ship Lost or Damaged Luggage

Introduction

Every year, millions of Americans board cruise ships to go abroad and see new places. With the large influx of Americans getting back to the cruise liners and setting sail after coronavirus, there are bound to be many maritime tort injuries. Some of the injuries can include operational incidents, such as food poisoning or bacterial infection from undercooked or processed foods that have not been stored properly. There are also claims such as sexual assault, battery, and slip and falls. However, one of the most commonly filed claims against cruise liners is lost or damaged luggage.

Lost or Damaged Luggage

In a claim for a recovery of lost or damaged luggage, the plaintiff needs to know how to navigate the procedure for filing a claim against the cruise liner. According to the tickets that you purchase for your journey abroad, typically there is a dollar limitation provided explicitly on the ticket for the value of a dollar amount of your luggage. The limitations on the ticket of a cruise liner for this value amount has been upheld by the courts. (Cohn v. United States Lines Co, 84 F.Supp. 503 (D. N.J. 1949). A standard or typical dollar amount that has been approved and upheld by many courts is a $100.00 limit for clothing. If your clothing is valued amount higher than that, then you will need to file a formal complaint or a claim against the cruise liner in order to recover for your damages. However, upon entering the cruise liner for your cruise, in most cases, you consent to the terms of the agreement purchased from the ticket. If you were to file a claim, you will need to know the proper process to gain a recovery.

Procedure of Filing a Claim Against a Cruise Liner

Procedurally, filing a claim against a cruise liner is typically a rather difficult process. First, you have to file your lawsuit at the cruise liners headquarters[1]. This could be rather difficult for out-of-state residents, as most of the popular cruise liners are based out of the Port of Miami, which is very close to the United States District Court house were injured parties must file most all claims[2].  In the past, the courts have held that bring a case in this specific venue provides for an expeditious process when adjudicating cruise line cases. For example, in Wiggins v. Carnival, plaintiffs argued that sufficient notice was not given, but the court found in favor of the cruise liner and rejected the idea that it was fundamentally unfair (United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division. 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18235). Later in Valenti v. Norwegian, the courts determined that federal maritime law would govern as the basis for the substantive law in determining venue (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6811). All of this is to say that navigating the procedure to filing a claim against a cruise liner for your damaged or lost luggage to recover the full amount of the items that you had in the baggage, is a difficult process.

Michael Brady Lynch Firm

You need experienced attorneys to litigate against the cruise liners in this Florida venue. Here at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we are experienced attorneys in cruise ship litigation. If you have been involved in an accident where the cruise liner damaged or lost your luggage, please give us a call at 888-585-5970.

Date: Sept 8, 2022

Author: Brandon Salter

 

[1] https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/plaintiffs-attorneys-suing-cruise-lines-must-navigate-a-boatload-of-challenges-unique-to-the-industry

[2] https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/plaintiffs-attorneys-suing-cruise-lines-must-navigate-a-boatload-of-challenges-unique-to-the-industry

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