Cruise Passengers Cannot Recover Loss of Consortium Damages

In another recent victory for our firm, the Eleventh Circuit held that general maritime law does not allow the spouse of a cruise passenger to recover loss of consortium damages. Loss of consortium refers to the deprivation of a family relationship due to injuries caused by the tortfeasor. Loss of consortium damages were previously barred by the Supreme Court in Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19 (1990), as inconsistent with the statutory schemes of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. The Eleventh Circuit extended Miles to passenger personal injury cases in In re Amtrak Sunset Ltd. Train Crash in Bayou Canot, Ala. on Sept. 22, 1993, 121 F.3d 1421 (11th Cir. 1997), to maintain uniformity in the various recoveries allowed under general maritime law. The Eleventh Circuit reaffirmed its prior precedent in dismissing the cruise passenger spouse’s claim for loss of consortium damages. To read the full Eleventh Circuit opinion, click here.

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