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January 18, 2012

Preliminary Analysis of How The Costa Concordia May Have Went Down

The CNN story is a good preliminary analysis of what may have happened causing the ship to list and ultimately list and then sink. The significant fact is that had there been a prompt assessment of the ship damage the evacuation could have occurred long before it became so difficult for the lifeboats to be boarded and launched. The analysis demonstrates there should have been more than adequate time to have everyone evacuated from the ship before it filled with water, listed, and began sinking.

It would seem once there was any evidence of a hole below the waterline that orders should have been given for all passengers to go on deck and get ready to abandon ship. The investigators will come up with a similar analysis to determine the reasons for the seeming delay in the order to abandon the Costa Concordia.

Contact a Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Accident attorney for more information by clicking here.

Continue reading Preliminary Analysis of How The Costa Concordia May Have Went Down >>
April 22, 2010

Carnival Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Update: Sixty passengers on Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Ecstasy were injured when the crusie ship listed at sea.

Carnival.ecstasy Sixty passengers on Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Ecstasy were injured on April 21, 2010 when the passenger ship listed at sea off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Our cruise ship attorneys are representing victims of this Carnival list accident.

The ship perform a severe maneuver allegedly to avoid a large buoy that "was adrift and mostly submerged, thereby preventing it from being detected by the ship's radar."  It is unclear why the buoy was not seen by the crew prior to the pint where an emergency turn was required, causing the list.  It is also unclear why the ship was designed such that such a severe listing could occur through steering input, given the high risk of injury from severe listing.Some passengers are suggesting that the boat made its emergency turn to avoid a sand bar.  Other passengers have reported the crew initially reported a gyroscope malfunction which caused the severe turn and resulting risk.  Carnival is refusing to release any real information about the cause.

Similar to the Crown Princess cruise ship listing accident several years ago, pools emptied and debris became airborne as the boat began to severely heel. Passengers lost their footing or were otherwise thrown to the low side of the ship, suffering injuries ranging from bruising to more serious injuries. 

Traverse Legal's cruise ship attorneys represented the largest number of Crown Princess passengers in the 2007 listing accident. We have already been retained by passengers of the Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Ship.  If you have been injured on a cruise ship, contact a cruise ship accident attorney or call 866.936.7447.

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Continue reading Carnival Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Update: Sixty passengers on Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Ecstasy were injured when the crusie ship listed at sea. >>
January 10, 2008

NTSB Board Meeting & Report: Crown Princess Heeling Accident

Traverse Legal is the leading law firm representing victims of the Crown Princess cruise ship accident. If you have been injured on a cruise ship, contact a cruise ship accident attorney or call 866.936.7447.

Notes from Video Presentation of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) findings on 1-10-07.

Continue reading NTSB Board Meeting & Report: Crown Princess Heeling Accident >>
December 13, 2007

NTSB Reprot on Crown Princess List Accident

NTSB Advisory
  National Transportation Safety Board
  Washington, DC 20594
  December 12, 2007  

NTSB TO RELEASE FACTUAL REPORTS ON M/V CROWN PRINCESS CRUISE   SHIP ACCIDENT


As part of its continuing investigation into a heeling   accident involving the M/V Crown Princess, in the Atlantic   Ocean off Port Canaveral, the National Transportation Safety   Board will open a public docket and release a factual report   on Friday, December 14, 2007, at 11:00 am.

Continue reading NTSB Reprot on Crown Princess List Accident >>
August 02, 2006

Crown Princess Passengers Retain Traverse Legal

Press Release:  07-24-2006: 

Numerous passengers who were on-board the Crown Princess cruise ship which severely listed on July 18, 2006 have retained Traverse Legal to provide legal representation and pursue litigation against the responsible /negligent parties for compensation and other damages.  Traverse Legal's investigation thus far makes it clear that the severe listing of this passenger cruise ship was caused by human error / negligence of the ship owner Princess Cruises and the Crown Princess crew. It is also clear that this is not an isolated incident and, as part of our investigation, we are in contact with other cruise ship passengers who have experienced similar accidents.

This web site is the leading source of information and discussion concerning the Ethan Allen tour boat and Crown Princess listing tragedies.  Traverse Legal is proud that the Crown Princess investigation site is generating information to thousands of our web site visitors every week, helping Crown Princess clients and others interested in this accident with valuable information concerning their right to sue responsible parties and the cause of this disaster. Our efforts will help make the cruise and tour boats industries safer and help ensure that needless tragedies like these don't occur again.

If you were injured in the Crown Princess accident, you can contact a cruise ship accident lawyer for a free consultation by clicking here.  If you have information concerning this incident, or other similar accidents on other cruise ships, you may contact us by clicking here.

July 30, 2006

Crown Princess Lawsuits Against Princess Cruises

Traverse Legal has spoken to many of the passengers who were on board the Crown Princess which listed on July 18, 2006.  Many of those passengers have already retained Traverse Legal to pursue litigation against Princess Cruises for negligence as a result of the human error / negligence which caused the Crown Princess list accident. Many passengers suffered physical injury and nearly all are suffering from symptoms ranging from PTSD, anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, stress and other psychological problems. In an effort to help our Crown Princess clients and passengers understand their legal rights and further understand Traverse Legal's role handling litigation claims, we have launched this investigation and litigation FAQ to answer the most frequently asked questions.

Here are some of the most common litigation (lawsuit / lawyers / attorneys) and representation questions:

  1. What will it cost to hire a lawyer at a law firm to represent me in litigation? Lawyers handle these matters on a contingency fee basis.  Many attorneys and law firms charge a 40% contingency fee.  Traverse Legal only charges a 1/3 or 33.3% contingency fee for Crown Princess list passengers seeking to sue Princess Cruises for their physical and psychological injuries. If you don't receive compensation for your damages, you don't pay any attorney fee.  If a litigant recovers a settlement or verdict as a result of pursing a lawsuit, the costs are deducted from the recovery and the settlement is split 1/3 to Traverse Legal and 2/3 for the client.  Traverse Legal advances all litigation costs on your behalf through settlement and the filed lawsuits. If you are trying to understand your right to sue Princess Cruises for negligence, you may contact us now for a free consultation.
  2. How long would litigation against Princess Cruises take for injuries suffered on the Crown Princess? Injury litigation can take some time to wind its way through the courts.  Settlement as an alternative to suing can take less time.  We would expect that Princess Cruises will make an earnest attempt to settle many of the Crown Princess legal claims brought by injury plaintiffs because they have already admitted negligence as a result of crew / human error. We are expecting the Princess Cruises will attempt settlement on Crown Princess listing litigation cases after the six month notice period has expired (at that point they will know how many claims they are facing) but before the 12 month limitations period for filing lawsuits in Los Angeles, California.  We are preparing settlement demands for each of our clients, and asking each claimant to document their physical injuries with photographs and medical records. Our law firm is making it clear to each of our Crown Princess clients that the decision to settle is the client's decision alone. We will help you understand any settlement offer and give you our best attorney recommendations. We are a litigation law firm and we will aggressively pursue a jury verdict in a court of law on your behalf if Princess Cruises does not offer an appropriate monetary settlement. We will file litigation for all of our Crown Princess listing clients legal cases in court which do not settle prior to the 12 month limitation period.
  3. What if I did not suffer a physical injury? Can I still sue? Your passage contract says that you must have a physical injury in order to sue.  US maritime law makes this provision illegal. All Crown Princess passengers were "at actual risk of physical injury, and such risk was caused by the negligence or fault of a crewmember or the manager, agent, master, owner, or operator" thus making this litigation prohibition unenforceable.   If you have purely psychological injuries, you likely still have a claim and should contact an attorney.
  4. How much is my claim worth? It is impossible to say for certain how much your physical and/or psychological injury is worth before obtaining specific information about your situation.  We expect that some permanent claims will be worth in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000) and, of course, a jury will be free to award any damage amount which they deem appropriate.  Further, if Princess Cruises is found to be grossly negligent, they may be sued for punitive damages.
  5. Should a lawsuit be filed by our attorneys against Princess Cruises right away?  You may have read in the newspaper or heard on the news that one or more firms have already filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruises for the Crown Princess listing accident.  While filed litigation draws publicity, we don’t believe that immediately filing lawsuits serve our client’s interest. It may be months before the NTSB completes its investigation, key witnesses are identified and the real facts of this listing accident come to light. There is no reason to sue immediately and many reasons to wait (although you should still hire counsel so your attorney can provide notice pursuant to the passage contract within 6 months and file a lawsuit within 1 year).   Most clients will not know how bad their injuries will be for some time.   This is especially true for those suffering psychological trauma and for those whose physical injuries are still be medically diagnosed.  The value of your claim will depend in part on the severity and permanency of your injury.  If you don't know how bad things will be for you one year or two years from now, how can you or your lawyer possibly know how much your claim is worth? We believe that it is important to properly process your claim, understand and document your injuries, understand your prognosis for recovery and attempt settlement before rushing to court.  We will not file a lawsuit simply for publicity or to draw attention to ourselves or when doing so would not serve our client's interests.  We will represent your interests aggressively and competently, including a jury trial in a court of law if necessary and at an appropriate time consistent with your best interests.
  6. What other issues should I be thinking about before hiring a lawyer, attorney, law firm to pursue Crown Princess litigation?
  • You must provide legal notice under the passage contract to Crown Princess / Princess Cruises within 6 months of the accident. If you do not provide adequate notice under your passage contract and maritime law, you will waive your right to sue or collect compensation for you injuries. Your Crown Princess litigation attorney, lawyer, law firm must file your case in court within 12 months of the accident date. 
  • Your cruise ticket requires individual lawsuits and precludes class action lawsuits arising from the Crown Princes listing accident. This class action restriction is probably enforceable under federal admiralty law. Princess Cruises may chose to allow an opt-in class action because of the large number of claims they will be facing.

Contact the Traverse Legal law firm for a free consultation with an admiralty and maritime attorney to understand your rights or call now (toll free) 866-936-7447.

See Crown Princess Passengers Retain Traverse Legal, Press Release 07-24-2006 here.

July 25, 2006

Junior Officer Blamed for Crown Princess Accident

Contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation or call 866.936.7447 (toll free).

Human error is acknowledged by Princess Cruises as the cause of Crown Princess accident.  This disputes the notion that the steering malfunctioned and early reports from Crown Princess representatives that something mysterious went wrong with the steering system:

As it turns out there wasn't an equipment or software problem aboard the Crown Princess, just a junior officer that did something stupid.

The skipper set the autopilot when he cleared for NY, the ship began it's swing to port, as programmed, and the skipper left the bridge, leaving the junior on the watch. All quite normal stuff. The junior looked over the instrumentation and got panicky over the autopilot's swing to port and turned off the auto pilot. He then tried a correction turn, but turned the ship harder to port, which caused the ship to list severely at that speed. I don't know if the junior corrected his blunder or if the skipper had returned to the bridge and eased the hard over helm, but the problem came out within minutes of the USCG arrival aboard the ship.

This is the first report of what actually occurred on the Crown Princess this last week.

Unconfirmed reports are coming out that there may be much more to the story.  There is some information that the Crown Princess did not take on water ballast prior to departure from New York, which would have allowed it to save on fuel cost.  There is further information that this would be against safe operation procedures and perhaps against regulations mandating ballast prior to leaving port. Water ballast provides stability to the ship.  Without water ballast, the ship would have been far more prone to listing.  If these reports turn out to be true, Princess Cruises could be subject to punitive damages for gross negligence.

Another contributor provides this information about a severe boat list back in February, 2006 aboard the Grand Princess:

My family was on the Grand Princess in February, on the first day out (approx. 4 hrs. from Galveston), when we "tipped".  It was the most horrible day of my 63 years.  We were never told what happened, never apologized to, was repeatedly told it was routine, and in general were left in the dark.

I am told by a Princess employee during disembarkation, that 44 semi's were loading merchandise to take care of everything broken on the ship.  We were in the dining room when it happened and all of the dishes, stemware and etc. was broken.  Everything in the gift shops including liquor all over the ship was broken, television sets and etc. I only learned in an article written about this accident that our ships problem was "human error".  Duh! I think we all deserved compensation. Princess would not go back to port even though many of us wanted to go back.  We spent a week aboard with not all of the amenities.

It seems hard to believe that these ships are so vulnerable to heal over as a result of human error. And how much training is being provided to the crew who are authorized to touch the helm if either of the above accounts are true?

These reports confirm reports yesterday (7 ship list incidents recently) that ship listing is a common and severe danger on board cruise vessels. Ship owners must know this to be true. The only question now is what is being done to make sure it doesn't keep happening again and again....

Contact the Traverse Legal law firm for a free consultation with an admiralty and maritime attorney to understand your rights or call now 231-932-0411.

Princess Cruise Passage Contract

Crown Princess passengers must be keenly aware of the passenger contract they agreed to when they purchased their tickets. Many attorneys who do not practice in this area of law can miss important dates for providing notice, filing a lawsuit, damage limitations on compensation for injuries, choice of venue clauses, limitations on damages for property damage and mental distress and similar issues.  Read your ticket carefully and contact the Traverse Legal law firm for a free consultation with an admiralty and maritime attorney. It is critical that you know and understand your legal rights so you can make informed decisions. 

Here is a link to the Passage Contract listed on the Princess Cruises website. This passage contract may be the one that controls your rights in the Crown Princess maritime accident.  Reviewing this passenger contract will give you some idea of the limitations which likely exist if you were injured in the Crown Princes accident and are exploring your legal rights. 

Here is a key damage limitation provision as well which may (or may not) apply to those injured in the Crown Princess accident:

17. NOTICE OF CLAIMS AND SUITS; TIME LIMITATION; VENUE.
Notwithstanding any provision of applicable law to the contrary, in cases involving claims for emotional or bodily injury, illness to or death of any Passenger, no lawsuit may be brought against Carrier unless (a) written notice giving full particulars of the claim is delivered to Carrier within 6 months, (b) a lawsuit on such a claim is filed within 1 year from the date of the emotional or bodily injury, illness or death, whichever comes first, and (c) valid service of the lawsuit is made within 90 days of filing the complaint. In all other cases, no lawsuit may be brought against Carrier unless (a) written notice giving full particulars of the claim is delivered to the Carrier within 15 days of termination of the Cruise, (b) the lawsuit on such claim is filed within 6 months from the date the Cruise terminated and (c) valid service of the lawsuit is made within 90 days of filing the complaint. All disputes and matters whatsoever arising out of or relating to Your Cruise, including for personal injury, illness or death, shall be litigated by You individually, and not as a member of any class. If you choose to sue Princess Cruises Lines, Ltd., then such claim must be litigated by You before a court located in the County of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., to the exclusion of the courts of any other country, state, city or county. You hereby waive any venue or other objection that may be available to any such action or proceeding being brought in any court located in Los Angeles, California. The limitations set forth in this Section 17 shall also apply to and be for the benefit of any agents, independent contractors, concessionaires and suppliers of Carrier.

PRINCESS CRUISE LINES, LTD.
As Operator and Agent for Operator
Revised 01/05

Given the new reports that a junior crew member panicked and caused the severe list in this accident on board the Crown Princess, there is no question that those injured are entitled to  compensation for their injuries.  Negligence is clear.  Given the large number of similar situations on other cruise ships caused by human error, one has to wonder what the Cruise industry is doing to correct these repeated and common incidents.  Passengers could have been killed.  Many were injured, some seriously.  It is time to make serious changes in protocol on the bridge, increase crew training but systems in place which will reduce the risk of catastrophe in the future.

Here are some more links:

Crown Princess Cruise Ship Accident

PORT CANAVERAL, Florida (AP)

A steering problem caused a new cruise ship  -- a Crown Princess cruise ship   -- to roll abruptly Tuesday, throwing passengers and crew to the deck and injuring dozens, including two critically. At the time of the accident, the ship was on autopilot and its captain away from the bridge.

One passenger said seawater flooded several upper decks of the Crown Princess, forcing water from a swimming pool "like a mini-tsunami," and breaking windows and furniture.

Passengers said that the British captain, Andy Proctor, of Aberdeen, sounded panicked when he addressed sobbing passengers over the ship's loud speakers. "He was out of breath and he was extremely scared,"  said Patrick Phillips, of  New York. Captain Proctor has 35 years experience  on the high seas.Matt Bergen, of Florida, said that even members of the British and Italian crew were weeping and in shock. "People were yelling, screaming and crying, even the staff was crying. It was nuts," he said.

Besides an adult and a child who were critically hurt, 12 people were seriously hurt and about 70 had lesser injuries.  Thirty-three people were taken to Florida hospitals, he said. Princess Cruises is one of brands operated by Miami, Florida based Carnival Corp.and operates the Crown Princess cruise ship.

Before leaving Port Canaveral, the Crown Princess cruise ship had just completed a nine-day Western Caribbean cruise. The 113,000-ton Crown Princess cruise ship began sailing a month ago and was making only its its fourth voyage.

As with the Ethan Allen, ships which bring passengers on board for hire need to operate safely.  Lives are at stake.  People can be killed with even the most routine errors.

More Links of interest:

Contact the Traverse Legal law firm for a free consultation with an admiralty and maritime attorney to understand your rights or call now 231-932-0411.

 

July 21, 2006

'Listing' of Cruise Ship Crown Princess Not Isolated

The sudden tilt of the Crown Princess this week near Port Canaveral is at least the 7th similar incident in the past year.

The sudden tilt of the Crown Princess that threw passengers across the deck of the new cruise ship this week appears to be the most severe of seven such recent cruise ship accidents.

The accidents occurred on ships run by three major cruise lines, including Princess Cruises, which operates the month-old Crown Princess which sent more than 90 people to the hospital Tuesday as it lurched to the side about 11 miles out of Port Canaveral.

Contact the Traverse Legal law firm for a free consultation with an admiralty and maritime attorney to understand your rights or call now 231-932-0411.

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