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Holding Cruise Ships Accountable for Sexual Assault and Rape That Happen On a Cruise

Cruises are meant to be a time of fun and creating great memories. Unfortunately, cruise ships have taken some families from sunny destinations to much darker places, leaving victims of sexual assault to take troubled and stormy experiences back home. In fact, reports show that more than half of crimes reported by cruise lines are sexual assaults. Even more disturbing is that one-third of all assaults are on minor passengers.

Rape and Sexual Assault Crimes Committed by Crew Members Upon Passengers

Sexual assault and rape by crewmembers on passengers or other crew members may not be the norm on cruise ships, but they do happen. Similar to rapes and sexual assaults occurring on land, the physical and emotional consequences can be devastating to the cruise ship passenger victims.

Maritime law normally governs sexual assaults and rapes involving cruise ship crewmembers. Under maritime law, cruise lines are strictly liable for sexual assaults on passengers or other crewmembers. This means that a cruise ship owner can be held liable even if it was not negligent or at fault for its crewmember’s actions. This is different than laws that govern land-based sexual assaults. Unlike sea-based sexual assault laws, land-based laws generally do not hold employers liable for the actions of their employees if they were intentional or outside the scope of the employee’s job duties.

Sexual Assault or Rape – Passenger Upon Passenger

Cruise lines are held to a different standard in the case of a passenger upon passenger rape or sexual assault. Cruise ship owners owe the duty of “reasonable care under the circumstance” in these cases. This generally means that the cruise passenger needs to prove that the cruise line had “notice” of the alleged dangerous condition. In other words, the cruise ship must have either known or should have known of the propensity of the perpetrator to commit the rape or sexual assault.

In order to meet this burden of proof, an experienced New York cruise ship sexual assault attorney must offer for proof certain elements, including:

  • Red flag conduct – the perpetrator showed some conduct in advance of the sexual assault or rape that should have placed the cruise line on notice that he/she represented a risk of harm to one or more of the ship passengers AND/OR
  • Cruise line created the dangerous condition leading to the rape or sexual assault – the cruise line created the risk of harm or dangerous condition that resulted in the rape or sexual assault to the ship passenger (the most common example is the excessive service of alcohol).

If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted or raped while onboard a cruise ship, the legal team at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. can help. We are a travel law firm that has the knowledge and expertise necessary to get you the results that you deserve. Our compassionate cruise line sexual assault attorneys have what it takes to get you the full compensation that you deserve.

Call Us Today!

If you or a family member was sexually raped or assaulted while sailing on a cruise line, you may have a valid claim against the cruise line or cruise ship owner. Our experienced New York cruise ship sexual assault and rape attorneys are compassionate, yet aggressive, in holding the responsible parties accountable. We understand no amount of money can undo the harm, but it can bring a sense of justice and closure to the injuries and harm you suffered.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.

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