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ICV Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Plans to Change DOHSA

ICV Logo.gifThe International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) was created five years ago to address issues, laws and regulations related to crimes on cruise ships. The ICV now has active membership in more than 20 countries and has spearheaded important changes in the cruise industry.

In 2006, several ICV members testified for the first time at a second Congressional hearing, presenting a 10-point program to improve safety on cruise lines. This list has grown to 13 points and has served as the basis for future legislation.

In 2007, two additional Congressional hearings took place with Rep. Doris Matsui leading this effort in the House. In June of 2008, under the leadership of Senator John Kerry, a hearing was then held in the U. S. Senate. This resulted in the introduction of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which was passed in July 2010.

Cruise ship passageway.jpgIn 2011, the ICV hopes to change the current 1920 law referred to as the “Death on the High Seas Act” (DOHSA) to hold cruise lines responsible for individuals that die on cruise ships where the cruise lines are at fault.

Concerns of cruise ship safety were highlighted last month, when 4,500 passengers and crew aboard the Carnival ship Splendor were stranded for three days at sea, without air conditioning, hot water, hot meals, or cell phone or Internet service, after a fire broke out on the first day of a seven-day Mexican cruise.

Resort Torts are cases of civil liability for negligent or criminal acts that arise out of a resort, vacation or recreational setting. These can involve aspects of hotel and motel safety, cruise ship litigation, pleasure boating and jet ski incidents, amusement, aquatic, diving and swimming incidents, foreign travel and medical emergencies, gaming and casinos, aviation (commercial and general), rental car liability, moped, bicycle and motorcycle safety, buses and tour guides, travel industry liability for crime victims, and medical care provided to vacationers. Resort Torts can encompass a vast array of types of cases but they all have one thing in common: tourists, business travelers and locals alike are all exposed to risk while traveling, vacationing or engaging in resort or pleasure activities.