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Could Passengers of American Jazz Sue After Kentucky Grounding?

Last Wednesday, on July 7th, an American Cruise Lines river cruise ship known as American Jazz found itself run aground near Canton Kentucky. The vessel was carrying around 160 people and was grounded after straying from the main shipping channel. The ship then drifted into a sandbar and was planted there unable to move. The sandbar was located in Lake Barkley, which is a dammed reservoir on Cumberland River. Thankfully, the Coast Guard and other representatives from state and local agencies were able to safely evacuate all passengers on board.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but fortunately no one was hurt from the ship’s grounding. The event does call into question what a passenger could legally do if they were harmed on an American Cruise Lines vessel. According to the American Cruise Line’s ticket terms and conditions, a person can only to attempt to file a personal injury suit under certain conditions.

These include:

  • All passenger personal injury suits must be brought in the state of Connecticut, regardless of where the injury occurred; and
  • The plaintiff must provide notice of the injury to American Cruise Lines within 6 month of the event which caused the injury; and
  • The suit is subject to a one-year time bar. Meaning the suit must be filed within one calendar year after the date of the event giving rise to the claim; and
  • The process for the lawsuit must be served to American Cruise Lines within 120 days after such lawsuit has been filed.

Cruise ship owners attempt to use these types of passenger ticket terms to limit their exposure for injuring passengers. Dealing with purported ticket term limitations is an example of why it is important to speak with an experienced maritime attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one was injured on a cruise ship.  The Connecticut maritime attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC are happy to hear that the passengers of American Jazz are safe and sound. However, it’s important to remember cruise line accidents and injuries do happen.  ACW&N is standing by to help.

Call Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC for an experienced maritime injury lawyer today at 1 (800) 262-8529.

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