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Patients Can Now Sue Cruise Lines for Medical Malpractice

December 22nd, 2014
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Monday, December 22, 2014.

Not long ago, it was extremely challenging for sick passengers who had suffered medical neglect while traveling to sue cruise lines, but according to the Clinical Advisor, that’s all about to change. Thanks to a new ruling in the United States Court of Appeals, passengers will have a much easier time filing medical malpractice suits against cruise lines now. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice in New Orleans, we can help.

The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling complex malpractice cases. Our attorneys have a wide array of both medical and legal resources, so you can be sure your case receives knowledgeable representation. If you think you have a legitimate claim, don’t wait; call us at (504) 586-5200 to arrange an initial consultation today, and let us know what we can do for you.

Cruise Lines Had Immunity Prior to the Ruling

Prior to the latest ruling, cruise lines had immunity when it came to their medical staff, even if they did indeed act negligently when treating patient-passengers. A case from 1988, Barbetta v. Bermuda Star, established this immunity, holding that the only way passengers could seek compensation for negligent care was by suing the medical provider personally–not the entire cruise line. For practical reasons, that made suing for malpractice on a cruise ship almost impossible.

The new ruling came after a recent case, Franza vs Royal Caribbean Cruises, and changed the initial immunity granted to cruise lines. Evidently an elderly passenger fell asleep while the ship was docked in Bermuda, and people carried him back onto the ship, where he sought treatment in the designated medical center. According to court documents, the ship’s medical staff acted so negligently that the nurse did not perform any diagnostic scans nor release him with any kind of treatment whatsoever.

After the man passed, his daughter sued the cruise line. The court dismissed the case initially, because of the Barbetta doctrine, but the U.S. Court of Appeals declined to follow the status quo and found that it was in fact a plausible claim, opening the door for passenger claims everywhere.

Patient Sues Doctor After Developing a Painful Sore

According to the Louisiana Record, a patient is suing her doctor and the medical center where he works after claiming she developed a severe infection and accompanying sore on her foot following surgery. The patient claims she sought treatment for a spur in her left heel, as well as severe inflammation. She said her doctor prescribed a regimen of medications, steroid injections and physical therapy.

The plaintiff alleges that the treatment prescribed did not ease the pain, so her doctor recommended surgery. Shortly after the operation, she claims her doctor went on vacation, and that’s when she began to experience severe pain, as well as complications that she believes her doctor mismanaged.

If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice in New Orleans, don’t wait to speak with an attorney. Call the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm today at (504) 586-5200, and let us know what we can do for you.

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