Last month, our firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of a passenger who was raped by a crewmember aboard the Norwegian Getaway in late November 2017. That lawsuit alleges that a crewmember was involved in the drugging and raping of an adult cruise passenger aboard the ship. The passenger alleges that, after reporting the rape, she was harassed to the point that she had to disembark the ship in a foreign port and not return to the ship for fear of her safety and wellbeing. This week, another case was filed against Norwegian Cruise Lines for an alleged sexual assault which occurred aboard the Norwegian Escape in February 2017. The criminal jury trial on the alleged sexual assault of the minor, which took place last year, did not find the accused to be guilty. There is a very different standard of proof, however, in criminal and civil cases – and, as we know from the O.J. Simpson matter, just because an alleged crime does not result in a criminal conviction does not mean that a civil jury will not award civil damages to the alleged victim of that crime.
In this new lawsuit, the family alleges that Norwegian Cruise Line is at fault for exhibiting poor screening of its staff and for allowing crewmembers access to master keys that allow them to enter passengers’ cabins. The family is suing for damages in excess of $75,000. This sum includes interest, costs and attorney’s fees due to the “bodily injury, emotional distress, mental anguish, pain loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, medical and psychological expenses” inflicted upon the minor as a result of the incident.
Although Norwegian Cruise Line has declined to comment on legal matters, they have confirmed that crewmember in question is no longer working for the company.
The Cruise Line Will Not Look Out For You
The cruise line, as is common, advertises the safety and age-appropriate entertainment provided onboard for minors. However, incidents such as this one raise concerns over the truth of those statements. After all, investigations have shown that many of the victims of rape and sexual assault at sea are, in fact, minors.
This is a devastating and shocking fact that many parents must face when they choose to bring their children aboard a cruise. Despite the cruise industry’s attempt to present their vacations as a safe and hassle-free escape from everyday life, when rape or sexual assault occur, that could not be farther from the truth.
As a result, it is important for parents to understand the reality of the problem and have age-appropriate conversations with their children regarding safety and what to do if something goes wrong. Creating an open dialogue between parents and minors will increase the chance of the minor coming forward with details of the incident, as soon as it occurs.
Reporting these crimes is of the utmost importance. After all, the only way to prevent perpetrators of cruise ship rape and sexual assault from harming more innocent individuals is to report the incident to the authorities as soon as possible. Although this can feel intimidating, especially for minors, it is the best way to ensure that your future legal case will be strong.
Let Us Help You Find Just Resolution
At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., every cruise ship rape lawyer on our team understands how challenging it can be to navigate your legal burden after a traumatic incident at sea. In most cases, you will end up feeling on your own. The cruise lines will do what they can to shirk responsibility, international jurisdictions can complicate the legal process, and the emotional and psychological weight can overwhelm even the most resilient.
That is why we are here to help. We are proud to have helped our clients move through the aftermath of cruise ship rapes and sexual assaults in the past, and we are prepared to do the same for you. We will fight for you at each step of the way, so that you get the justice you deserve. So if you have questions about your unique situation and are seeking trusted legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us.