ARE THERE CAMERAS ON CRUISE SHIPS?
Some Do and some don’t. It depends on the cruise line, but it also depends upon which vessel is in question. And, at least for right now it depends upon what part of the ship you are talking about. One thing is very certain, if you have an injury on a cruise ship that is captured by a video camera, the cruise line is not going to give that to you outside of litigation. The cruise lines are not presently required by law to give over video of an accident to you, absent being required to do so by your filing suit to obtain it in discovery.
In practicing maritime law for 25 years we know that some cruise lines do have video cameras in public areas and some do not. Right now most cruise lines deny they have numerous cameras in public places. This information can be obtained in corporate representative depositions or in discovery. (In Interrogatories and Request For Production under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.) Cruise lines are very resistant to giving up this information.
The scenario on this is about to change. The proposed Cruise Passenger Protection Act, which is being attached to a defense spending bill cleared the House and the U.S. Senate last week. This bill, if signed by the president, would require cruise ships to place cameras in “all public places”. This is a game changer, and the reason for that may not be totally obvious to one who has not had to pursue an injury claim against a cruise ship. Cruise lines in almost every injury case make a claim that they had “no notice” of the condition which caused the incident to occur. It doesn’t matter if the person slipped and fell on the deck, or something fell onto the passenger, the cruise line says they didn’t know about it beforehand—and therefore the cruise line asks the judge to not find them at fault. We want to repeat this: the cruise line contends in almost every case they had “no notice of the condition which caused the cruise ship passenger injury”.
The last significant law passed against cruise lines to protect public safety was the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act in 2010. That act finally forced the cruise lines to report all allegations of sexual assault and other crimes which occurred on board or which involved crew members or passengers. And, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 required the US Coast Guard and the FBI to report those crimes in public statistics. Prior to this 2010 act the cruise lines were not regularly reporting sexual assault allegations and not retaining employees who were alleged to have committed such acts.
The new passenger safety act will also require all cruise ships to have a licensed physician on board. The act will also require all cruise lines to retain video for a limited amount of time. This is why it is important to hire maritime counsel. This means hiring your counsel who has brought claims against and filed suit against the cruise lines on numerous claims for hundreds of clients. We know what we are doing. Your cruise ship injury case will not be a one-time case for us. This is what we do.
Don’t trust your case to a law firm who only every now and then comes across a cruise ship injury case. Hire the firm who specializes in cruise ship injury claims.