Royal Caribbean’s ANTHEM OF THE SEAS encountered hurricane strength winds and high seas resulting in her aborting a Caribbean cruise and returning to New Jersey this week. This is the second sailing in less than five months where a vessel set out on a heading which would place it in the path of bad weather. The consequences to EL FARO were catastrophic with the loss of all hands and the cargo vessel as a result of Joaquin which intensified from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane. The decision to sail ANTHEM OF THE SEAS was made in the face of an adverse weather forecast also. Unfortunately there is no remedy in Admiralty Law for the inconvenience or emotional trauma suffered by thousands of passengers confined to their staterooms to ride out the storm. To obtain monetary relief for emotional trauma, it must be accompanied by some physical injury. All passengers should immediately study their trip documents/tickets to ensure that they comply with strict time limits to make a claim for refunds or discount tickets to partially compensate them for the terror and inconvenience suffered.
Boat Accidents in New Jersey and Pure Comparative Negligence
In maritime accidents, the United States Code requirement of pure comparative negligence controls. This means an injured party is eligible to recover damages, minus the percentage of their fault, regardless of how much fault is assigned to them. If Smith suffers $100,000 in losses but is found to be 80% at fault, Smith is still eligible to recover $20,000 in compensation. The implications of pure comparative negligence are significant for both the insured and the insurer.