No one ever suspects that what should be a fun-filled cruise vacation could possibly ever go awry. Despite the increasing number of cruise ship accidents, crimes, and mysteries at sea that not even our maritime attorneys here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. can begin to unravel, travelers tend to see their cruise through rose colored glasses. Sure, they may know that there’s a chance they may get hurt onboard or at a foreign port or become the victim of assault or theft, but they remain undaunted by the statistics. But there are times when all the data in the world cannot prepare a family for the unexpected. A death onboard a cruise ship is not only frightening, but wrought with complications. Innumerable things can go wrong, from the autopsy to the transfer of the body.
Sometimes, it’s the cruise line that’s to blame for the death or for any complications in the process that must follow a death at sea. Yet, there are times when the circumstances surrounding the tragedy are out of the control of both the cruise line and the family. Some cruise ship fatalities can neither be prevented nor explained. This is the unfortunate situation one Chicago family is struggling with at the moment following a mysterious death onboard a Carnival Cruise ship.
John Perricone, a mere 29 years old, was on a Carnival Cruise vacation last month with his family to Mexico when he fell ill. After a few days, Mr. Perricone was not showing signs of improvement, and began to experience difficulty breathing. It was then that his wife, Brittany, immediately took him to the ship’s onboard physician for treatment. That’s when things suddenly took a tragic turn.
Upon arriving at the infirmary, Mr. Perricone began to convulse. Then, just as quickly as the symptoms developed, Mr. Perricone was gone. What could have possibly happened? It’s been over two weeks since Mr. Perricone’s untimely death, and still, his family has no answers.
According to the victim’s sister, Katie, Mr. Perricone had been feeling tired throughout the family cruise vacation and had been sleeping more than usual. Mr. Perricone’s father-in-law, Lee Forseth, also explained that his son-in-law had complained of pains in his ribcage one night, and could hardly walk the next morning.
The husband and father of four young children wasn’t suffering from any known ailments at the time, nor did anyone else in the family – or on the entire ship – become sick. But what’s especially strange is the fact that Mr. Perricone had recently canceled his life insurance policy to save money. At 29, he didn’t think it was crucial to keep the policy. After all, what healthy 29-year-old would ever expect the worst?
Unfortunately, the worst did in fact occur, and now, his bereft family is struggling to find a reason for his untimely death.
Foul play is not suspected, but the family is still waiting on the results of an autopsy for confirmation on what could have happened. Could he have developed a sudden illness while onboard the ship? Did the cruise line have anything to do with his death? Could he have survived had there been a more extensive medical facility onboard the ship?
These are all questions that need to be addressed. There are strict protocols that must be followed when someone dies onboard a cruise ship, and if the cruise line fails to follow these protocols, may be held liable for any complications that ensue.