HI Teddy. Here is the paper includes outline.
References at the end
I. Case Study of Blue Star Streamship Lines (BSSL)
- Reviewing the Case
Why should Mrs. Lowell move forward in pressing charges against Blue Star Streamship Lines (BSSL) in the injury, assault, and death of her husband while cruising in international waters, since most foreign countries refuse to acknowledge Maritime Law claims of jurisdiction in such court cases?
B. Admiralty Law and Jurisdiction
C. Liberian Womens' Rights
II. U.S. Attorney's Recommendation
A. Additional Supporting Resource
Case Study of Blue Star Streamship Lines
According to the Admiralty law, the flag that a ship is flying designates the jurisdiction of a country. In this case the ship was flying a Liberian flag, therefore Liberian law has jurisdiction. B. Admiralty Law and Jurisdiction
However if the ship docks in U.S. port, in this case Puerto Rico, an American court can still exercise jurisdiction over the ship according to Admiralty Law (LegalDatabase.com, 2009). Mr. Lowell was assaulted while they were out to sea, and possibly cannot press charges under U.S. law for this attack. However, he should be able to do so under Liberian law.
If the ship is at least 24 miles away from the coast, it is considered on International waters so the flag determines the law that the ship is under. If the ship, flying the Liberian flag, had been 24 miles out to see instead of at dock in Puerto Rico, then the ship would have to be governed by Liberian law. In order to determine what laws are to be followed by a ship at sea, the territory should be recognized. In this case the territory was Puerto Rico. Since the thieves escaped with the stolen merchandise on U.S. soil, the charges should be pressed under U.S. Maritime law for the theft of the goods (Layton, 2008).
C. Liberian Women Rights
The fact that Mrs. Lowell filed charges against BSSL for the injuries of her husband, may be under Liberian law. However the history of Women Rights in Liberia are not in favor of Mrs. Lowell. The women of Liberia suffer much abuse physically, mentally, and emotionally. There has been gender violence within Liberia for centuries, it is still prevalent today.
The violence against women in Liberia knows no bounds. It "includes female genital mutilation, wife burning, dowry-related violence, rape, incest, wife battering, female feticide and female infanticide, trafficking, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, summary executions and prostitution" LIDH.org, 2009).
It is highly unlikely that Mrs. Lowell will get any justice from the Liberian government.
It would be better to try to press charges on BSSL in the U.S. for negligent supervision, training, and hiring of employees; breach of contract, infliction of emotional distress, theft, or lost of proprietary corporate information. Dismissing temporarily the unfortunate cases of assault that occurred out to sea. Once she gets a case against BSSL proving the other charges. It may be a better opportunity for her husband to press the injury charges.
BSSL most likely will not respond to the allegations of Mrs. Lowell unless represented by an attorney. It has been the history of cruise ship's on international waters to disregard all claims brought against them.
II. Attorney's Recommendation
According to Greenberg & Stone attorneys that work with cruise injury cases. There is a one-year statute of limitations to bring claims against a cruise line. They also state that most cruise liners settle out of court. However Mrs. Lowell should move forward with her case immediately. In this way the law office can contact involved parties for questioning as soon after the incident as possible. The attorneys also suggest filing a federal or state case regardless of whether BSSL decides to settle out of court or not (Greenberg & Stone, 2009).
During an interview with an attorney that works primarily with cruise ship victims of theft, rape, and many other crimes it has been found that they often settle out of court to avoid publicity.
XXXXX XXXXX has worked with hundreds of cases of cruise ship criminal activity over nearly 20 years. In recent years the crimes have become more prevalent and extreme. He relates that vacationers and tourists are among the most vulnerable types of victims.
He also remarks that the cruise ships are notorious for having inadequate security. This is especially true in the evenings and around the cabins of travelers.
- Additional Supporting Resources
XXXXX XXXXX, an attorney in Miami, FL gives an interview to answer questions about cruise ship litigation.
Interview between Attorney Davis and Law & Settlement Journalist (Criag, 2008).
Law & Settlements: Has security on cruise ships improved due to recent incidents and subsequent litigation?
Attorney XXXXX XXXXX: I don't find it has. It is a business decision for the cruise ships, and the amount of security, the amount of effort, they put into taking care of passengers remains at the same level. They know the amount of risk they have, they know the amount of accidents that are going to happen, they know how much they are going to pay out on a yearly basis, and it makes more sense to them to pay those claims, rather than pump money into the whole system.
Law & Settlements: What should people on cruise ships do if they believe they have been the victims of a personal injury situation?
Attorney XXXXX XXXXX: I would never recommend that anyone calls his or her attorney ‘ship to shore'. I would recommend they get the care they need while they are on the ship, and if they need to get off the ship, they should get off the ship to get the proper medical attention.
LAS: Should they collect names and addresses of potential witnesses on the ship?
Attorney XXXXX XXXXX:That's always helpful in any kind of legal situation. It will make things easier down the line. I have had cases where clients have taken photographs of dangerous conditions with their cell phones, and then downloaded their photographs when they got home. Those ended up being very helpful and compelling in future litigation
Another resource that may be of help to publicize the BSSL incident is the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV). This organization allows victims of crime that occurs on cruise ships to share their stories. There are hundreds of incidents or cases where cruise ships have refused to investigate, arrest, or question criminals on board. The organization advocates legal reforms to help passengers by providing information and support for victims. It is the hope of ICV that the hundreds of eyewitness accounts of crime that has gone unpunished will cause the cruise industry to take notice. With the goal of making cruise ship safety for passengers a priority of the industry (ICV.org, 2009).
Davis, B.M. (2009). Miami Attorney Brian M. Davis Says Cruise Ship Litigation Comes
Naturally. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from
FIDH.org, (2009). Women Rights in Liberia. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from
Greenberg & Stone. (2009). Miami Florida Cruise Ship Attorneys. Retrieved July 30, 2010
Johnson, A. (2009). Maritime Research Analysis. JcPublications.
ICV.org. (2009). International Cruise Victims Association. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from
Layton, J. (2008). Maritime Law: Murky Jurisdiction. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from
LegalDatabase.com. (2008). Admiralty Law Overview. Retrieved July 30, 2010 from
Edited by Toneemarie on 7/31/2010 at 12:30 PM EST