Man Pleads Guilty to Assault Aboard Cruise Ship
Cruise ship assaults tend to be sexually motivated. Those on cruises are out on international waters where issues of jurisdiction can become fuzzy. But that isn’t the only type of violence women endure on cruise ships. Sometimes, they’re simply beaten.
That was the case with one woman was shown on video being dragged by her hair. The passenger then punched her in the face with a closed fist. The woman appeared to be unconscious for a while afterward. The video also shows the man dragging her by the hair.
45-year-old Adam Damian Panetta was charged with one count of assault and another count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
The FBI Handled the Investigation
According to the FBI timeline, the two can be seen walking down the hallway hand-in-hand at 2:14 AM. At 2:16 AM, Panetta can be seen dragging the woman by their hair. The woman attempts to slap him, and Panetta retaliates by punching her in the face and knocking her unconscious outside of her cabin. Minutes later, the woman attempted to crawl into her cabin and Panetta can be seen kicking her in the rear twice. At 2:47, the woman comes out of her room holding a white towel to her head. The towel appears to be soaked in blood. The woman is given five stitches and the medical examiner notes that there is swelling on her face.
Is This Cruise Ship Liable in This Case?
Probably not. Not every instance of a cruise ship assault is based on cruise ship negligence. Even in cases of sexual assault, the plaintiff must be able to show that the cruise ship either did something or failed to do something that would have kept their victims safe. Some lawsuits have been brought against cruise ships on the basis that they have failed to warn passengers about the dangers of sexual assault aboard their vessels. But courts generally need to see that the cruise ship violated its duty of care to their passengers. In this case, it’s difficult to see how that happened.
Proving Cruise Ship Liability
If the woman had filed a complaint with cruise ship security that the man was harassing her, onboard security did nothing to remedy the situation to keep the woman safe, she would indeed have a negligence claim against the cruise ship.
Additionally, if she was attacked by one of the crew, the cruise ship would be vicariously liable for the attack and she would have a claim against the ship.
What To Do If You’re Attacked on a Cruise Ship
If you’ve been attacked on a cruise ship, you should contact security immediately and tell them what happened. If you’re not satisfied with how they handle the situation, you may be entitled to recover damages from the cruise line for negligence. In that event, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers, P.L.L.C. We’ll be happy to sit down with you and discuss your case.