Articles Posted in Tourism

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Titanic.jpgONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, in April 1912, the legendary RMS Titanic capped off its maiden voyage by colliding with an iceberg and sinking into the Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,500 people were killed and the tragedy was named one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

You’d think that 100 years later, with advances in technological precision that mariners of days past could hardly have dreamed of, cruising would have become a much safer vacation option for tourists, and that preventable cruise ship disasters would be left behind with the bygone era.

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A bizarre and tragic incident left an expectant mother and her unborn baby dead at a Fort Lauderdale hotel’s poolside cabana.

The 27-year-old woman visiting from Massachusetts had just entered the cabana when a car plowed into it, killing her instantly. The car’s driver reportedly lost control, hit a curb, crossed a sidewalk and continued 20 feet into the cabana. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was reported to be in stable condition.

An investigation is underway and charges against the driver are pending toxicology tests. A Breathalyzer and blood test were not performed immediately following the incident because the driver was injured. A myriad of legal issues could come into play, from driver negligence causing catastrophic injuries to premises liability and resort tort litigation.

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Cruise ship Lifeboat.jpg
That’s the question many skeptical vacationers are asking themselves these days, with all the cruise ship safety issues surfacing this year. From norovirus to shipwreck and onboard fire, the cruise industry is now under tough scrutiny.

This week, its leaders gather in Miami for the 28th annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference, along with 1,000 exhibiting companies and around 11,000 attendees from 110 countries.

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Resort torts continue in the cruise industry…

Not a Vacation CELEBRATION

The FBI is investigating a passenger reported missing from a Celebration Cruise Line ship, The Sun Sentinel reported. She was last seen in the ship’s casino around 1 a.m. and was reported missing by her boyfriend at 8 a.m. The ship was in international waters at the time, after leaving the Grand Bahamas Island port at 6 p.m. the night before. The card-swiping system that records passengers’ whereabouts indicated that she was last registered as being on board.

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Cruise ship at port.jpgThe Costa Concordia shipwreck tragedy in the Mediterranean has sparked a review of safety standards on cruise ships. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced in a press release that it will conduct a hearing in February to review cruise ship safety including operating standards and crew training requirements.

Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) said in the release that “The Costa Concordia tragedy is a wakeup call for the United States and international maritime organizations to carefully review and make certain we have in place all appropriate standards to ensure passengers’ safety on cruise ships.” He said that “The Committee will review the events of this specific incident, current safety measures and training requirements set by law and international maritime transportation agreements to ensure this mode of transportation remains as safe as possible.”

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casino woman.jpg “Even among gambling friendly senators” there is mounting opposition to the massive destination resort casino plans proposed for South Florida, despite projections of an economic windfall.

A majority of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee has asked for significant changes to the current bill proposed for casino expansion legislation in the state. The Committee is known as being open to casino expansion, according to the Miami Herald, but is not yet willing to pass the current proposal.

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Orlando Map.jpgFrom seizure to broken bone, head injury to loss of an eyeball, twelve visitors to Orlando experienced first-hand during Q3 2011 the dangers that lurk in parks designed for amusement. Walt Disney World reported the most injuries for Q3, totaling seven.

Resort Torts can include a wide variety of legal 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 and leisure activities.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, new filings with the state include the following injuries reported at Orlando theme parks:

Islands of Adventure
• A man from Puerto Rico had to have an eye removed after something stuck and lacerated it while he was riding the Dragon Challenge roller coaster in Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. According to the Sentinel, the description in the report Universal provided the state was “eye discomfort”.

Walt Disney World
• An 18-year-old woman lost consciousness and experienced seizure-like symptoms in Castaway Creek.
• A woman injured an ankle on Mayday Falls.
• A woman lost consciousness after riding Mission: Space.
• A 16-year-old girl had a seizure on Star Tours.
• A woman fell and broke her leg at Haunted Mansion.
• Another woman fell and broke her leg on Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel.

Wet ‘n’ Wild, owned by NBCUniversal
• An 8-year-old boy suffered a head injury on Storm.

Amusement Park Injury Reporting
In 2001, The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the amusement park industry trade group, began producing its own injuries-per-ride-cycle figure for amusement rides (roller coasters, Ferris wheels, etc.) operated at fixed site locations. Their methodology is that IAAPA asks its members each year to report the number of riders they’ve processed through the turnstiles of their mechanical amusement rides, and the number of customers they know of who were treated by a doctor for injuries caused by any of those rides. They then come up with a number of patron rides taken each year, and an aggregated count of ride-related injuries parks reported knowing about.

This reporting system does not collect any information useful for analysis of accident patterns or development of prevention strategies. No information is collected that would identify the ride, the park, the age/size of patrons involved, the type of accident, or the injuries sustained.

With 82 million visitors each year, Florida and its many tourist attractions give rise to Resort Torts – cases of civil liability for negligent or criminal in a resort, vacation or recreational setting. Click here to contact a board certified civil trial specialist with 26 years of experience representing victims of negligence in personal injury matters.

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Seminar logo - red cropped.jpgThe Miami Beach shooting incident during Memorial Day weekend has changed the ‘foreseeability’ factor for resort crimes in the area.

Most negligent security cases turn on the issue of foreseeability: Was the incident reasonably foreseeable by the owner or business?

One of the tools used to analyze foreseeability is the crime grid, which has been held admissible at trial, and involves obtaining from a police agency a record of the service calls for the area around the address of an incident.

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A tour-bus driver employed by a Florida travel company struck and killed a pedestrian in Midtown Manhattan. The driver registered .083 in a subsequent breath alcohol test, reported the New York Post – more than twice the legal limit of .04 for commercial drivers.

The West Palm Beach man struck a 29-year-old Philadelphian man while driving an L&L Travel tour bus bus with 40 sightseeing tourists on board. Police reported finding an open 1.75-liter bottle of Smirnoff in the luggage compartment, and a silver travel mug nearly emptied of vodka, said the Post.

He is charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. The victim was reportedly dragged behind the bus for nearly half a block and pronounced dead at Bellvue Hospital. A wrongful death lawsuit could potentially follow.