I was assaulted by a passenger on the cruise ship I work on, after the ship experienced mechanical problems and was stranded at sea for a few days. How can I recover damages for my injuries?

The answer depends on the circumstances of your assault, as well as the nature of the malfunction that stranded your cruise ship, and only an experienced lawyer can tell you for sure. However, you may have recourse to collect damages from two parties:

  1. The person who assaulted you, in a civil suit. If you have witnesses who can testify to the details of the incident, and if you can provide medical records, you may have grounds to sue your assailant in a mainland jurisdiction. Granted, conditions on the cruise ship may have been intolerable (overflowing toilets, spoiled food, lack of air conditioning), but we live in a civilized society, and there's no excuse for assaulting a ship's employee.
  2. The company you work for, under the Jones Act. It may be possible to pin the blame for the assault on your employer, as well as your actual assailant, if you can prove that the owner or operator of your cruise ship was negligent in the vessel's upkeep, and thus responsible for the conditions that set everyone's tempers boiling. If your employer did not take your assault sufficiently seriously—telling you to “walk it off” and get back to work—you may also have grounds for a claim.

It's never a fun experience when a cruise ship flounders at sea—for the ship's passengers, for its crew, or for its owners (who have to cope with a major PR disaster that can potentially affect the company's bottom line). But if you have been injured by another passenger, whatever the circumstances, you deserve to be made whole for your injuries. Questions? Contact the Jones Act attorneys at Vujasinovic & Beckcom (877-724-7800) for a free consultation today.