Hickey Law Firm Secures $1+ Million for Cruise Ship Injury Victim After Eight Day Trial in Federal Court


On October 25, 2019, a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) tender was ferrying over 200 NCL passengers from the pier at Cannes, France to the NCL Epic cruise ship.  The tender was the last one transporting passengers that day and was over 30 minutes late. The cruise ship had already pulled anchor. The tender pulled up fast to the cruise ship and slowed or stopped abruptly right before it got to the ship. The tender started to pitch in its own wake. Then the tender turned 90 degrees and started to roll back and forth. The NCL crewmember who operated the tender did not warn the passengers that the tender was approaching the ship, that the tender was going to collide with the cruise ship, or that the passengers should brace for choppy waters or a collision. Consequently, NCL passenger Vivian Ruggeri was thrown from side to side and reached out and held onto an adjacent bench “for dear life” with her right arm.  That caused a tear of her rotator cuff in her shoulder. Ruggeri underwent 2 surgeries, a rotator cuff repair and then months later a shoulder replacement. The treatment included 99 physical therapy visits and 26 doctor visits.

The cruise did not touch a U.S. port and so the Athens Convention if applicable would limit damages to roughly $500,000. After 8 days of trial before Federal Court Judge Darren Gayles in Miami, the Court set aside the Athens Convention in the NCL passenger ticket used at that time on the grounds that the ticket language was misleading in several respects and did not include all the documents relative to the Athens Convention.

Result: Final Judgment for Plaintiff entered on December 18, 2023, in the amount of $1,016,770.54.

COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF: John H. (Jack) Hickey and Lisa Goodman of Hickey Law Firm, Miami, Florida.

COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT: Richard McAlpin and Matthew Street of McAlpin, Tanner & Marcotte, Miami, Florida.

Hickey Law Firm specializes in “life changing injuries”®.


Attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey is double Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Admiralty & Maritime Law and Civil Trial, and Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) in Civil Trial. The Best Lawyers in America® recognizes Hickey for his work in three areas: Admiralty and Maritime Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs. Hickey Law Firm also was also recognized by Best Law Firms in these same practice areas for 2024.

To schedule a free consultation with a cruise ship accident lawyer from Hickey Law Firm, please call us or fill out our contact form. We help cruise ship accident victims throughout the country. The initial consultation is free, and you don’t pay until after we win your case.