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Appeal Court Decision: Cruise Lines Can Now Be Sued for Medical Malpractice

Each week, passengers all over the country looking for a vacation board huge cruise ships to sail away to tropical and exotic lands.  But what happens if you are injured while on a cruise ship and the ship’s doctor is negligent in treating your injuries? 

This happened to one woman’s elderly father.  He fell and bashed his head boarding a trolley.  The woman alleged that a cruise ship nurse negligently allowed him to return to his cabin. Later he was was transported by wheelchair back to the ship's infirmary, where he was seen by a doctor, who ordered him transferred to a Bermuda hospital. But by the time her father arrived at the Bermuda hospital, more than six hours after he was first examined by the ship nurse, it was too late to save his life.

The family of the deceased man filed a medical malpractice suit against the cruise lines and its doctor and nurse.  However U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard dismissed the case.

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The family appealed the case and a groundbreaking decision was recently issued by a federal appeals court that will allow cruise ship companies to be sued for medical malpractice.  I imagine in the past there have been many people who suffered from medical malpractice injuries on cruise ships but had no recourse to file a suit.  Whether on land or sea, medical malpractice is more common than you may think. Each year, thousands upon thousands of people are affected by the mistakes of hospitals, surgeons, and doctors - and the majority never file medical malpractice claims.

As Virginia (VA) medical malpractice lawyers we have a track record of success in winning cases for our injured clients.  One such case involved a child birth injury and the jury awarded $2.3 million to the child whose life is changed forever because of the injury.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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