Seafarer Injured in Separate Accident on Land While Getting Maintenance and Cure From the Shipowner or Employer Was Entitled to Received Continued Maintenance and Cure for the Separate Accident

Landmark Cases

DUARTE vs. ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES,LTD. 761 So. 2d 367; (Fla. App. 3rd 2000)

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Appellant seaman sought review of an adverse decision of the Circuit Court for Dade County (Florida), granting summary judgment in appellee cruise line’s favor on a claim for the continuation of maintenance and cure following appellant’s injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

OVERVIEW: Appellant was a seaman who was receiving maintenance and cure for several months when she was injured in an automobile accident. Appellee refused to pay appellant maintenance and cure for expenses arising from the accident, and appellant filed suit. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of appellee. The appellate court reversed, holding that appellant was receiving maintenance and cure at the time of the accident because she had yet to obtain maximum medical recovery. Under such a situation, appellant was still in the service of the ship and thus entitled to maintenance and cure for the additional injuries incurred.

OUTCOME: Judgment reversed. Appellant had not yet obtained maximum medical recovery at the time she sustained injuries in a car accident; thus, appellee cruise line’s refusal to pay for maintenance and cure for such injuries was improper.