Almost every modern day cruise ship has a spa. Sometimes they are run as a franchise of a well- known name like Canyon Ranch. But most of the time, the spas are run by one company which in one form or another has operated spas on cruise ships for over 40 years. The related companies which operate these spas are ONE SPA WORLD LLC and ONESPAWORLD U.S., INC. These companies before 2019 operated as Steiner, a company which was headquartered in London, but which operated out of an office in Miami, Florida. That same office in Miami now houses the same people under the new names.
We have cases or have had cases in the past or have been contacted by cruise passengers where:
- Cruise passenger slips and falls on a wet floor in the spa dry area.
- Cruise passenger slips and falls on the wet floor outside a jacuzzi or spa in the general spa area.
- Spa employee sexually assaults cruise passenger during a massage in the spa.
- Spa employee sexually assaults minor passenger who the employee met in the spa, but the assault took place in a shower area outside the spa.
- Spa employee performs acupuncture on cruise passenger and punctures the right lung of the passenger.
- Spa employee injects face of a cruise passenger with Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) and uses too much material and injects into wrong areas and causes what could be long term or permanent disfiguring of the face of the cruise passenger.
- Spa employee performs a massage on cruise passenger with excess force on the head and neck when the cruise passenger was on blood thinners causing cruise passenger to suffer a stroke. The spa also did not ask about whether the cruise passenger was on blood thinners and did not refuse to perform a massage (and in fact performed a rough massage with excessive force) where the passenger was on blood thinner. The cruise passenger is debilitated from the massage which caused a stroke.
Sexual assaults in the spa onboard cruise ships
Sexual assaults happen on cruises. When they do happen, oftentimes it is the crew members who sexually assault passengers. We have represented those passengers over the years. And we have obtained record breaking results. We will be discreet; we use “Jane Doe” or “John Doe” in filings to protect our clients’ identities and privacy.
We currently represent a passenger who was sexually assaulted by a masseuse in the spa onboard the ship. The masseuse in that case massaged the private parts of the passenger. The passenger when this happened was in shock. She, the passenger, froze and did not know what to do. That is a natural reaction when something happens where you feel out of control or whatever happens is extremely out of the ordinary or bizarre for you.
Hickey Law Firm can help with any cruise ship injury or sexual assault claim
The crew, including the captain of any cruise ship, are responsible for what happens onboard the cruise ship. But whenever passengers complain about anything which happens in the spa, the cruise line refers the passengers to the company which operates the spa. It is true that cruise lines for the last 40+ years have used a company to operate the spas onboard their ships for their passengers. The cruise line is really a partner of these companies because the cruise line shares in the profits of the spa companies. And the spa companies’ personnel are to a degree under the control of the cruise line, specifically, control of the captain of the ship. Every human being onboard a ship is subject to the ultimate and daily control of the captain of the ship. What the captain says goes. The Master (another word for captain of the ship) is the master of the ship and everyone on it. And the Captain is employed by the cruise line.
In the Passenger Contract Ticket there is a clause which says that all of the defenses which the cruise line can assert and all of the terms and conditions which apply to the cruise line apply to the contractors of the cruise line. That clause in maritime law, the law which applies to everything onboard these ships, is called a Himalaya Clause. It is a common clause in maritime law. Because these incidents happen on a ship (in navigable waters), the maritime law does apply. And it applies to all sexual assaults in the spa.
Also, the same requirements for the suits against the cruise lines apply to suits and claims against the spa. That means that as to any claims against the spa, the following is true:
The General Maritime Law of the U.S. applies.
The passenger is required to give notice in writing to the spa company of the passengers’ claims “with full particulars,” which means the who, what, when, where, and how.
The passenger is required to file suit against the spa within one year of the incident.
The passenger is required to file suit in the venue (the place) where the Passenger Contract Ticket says you do. For most of the major cruise lines, that is in Federal Court in Miami, Florida.
By the same token, the spa company – by taking advantage of these terms and conditions – has submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court.
Hickey Law Firm is a premier personal injury law firm based in Miami and serving clients in Florida and throughout the country. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer, please call us or fill out our contact form.
Attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey and his team handle a wide range of cases, including but not limited to cruise ship accidents, admiralty and maritime accident cases, medical malpractice, wrongful death, premises liability, railroad accidents and car accidents. We represent victims from all over the nation, the world and the state of Florida.