Girl Dies After Contracting Salmonella Bacteria aboard Cruise Ship - Mother Sues

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On August 22, 2013 seventeen-year-old Briana Martins and her family set sail aboard the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas cruise ship. According to a complaint filed by Martins’ family, she and her family only consumed food provided aboard the ship, from which the minor contracted a deadly infection.

Martins’ mother, Marla Martins, brought suit against Royal Caribbean, alleging that the company had served the family “bacteria-ridden” food, which lead to her daughter’s contracting a serious case of salmonella poisoning. Briana was taken to the ship’s medical facility on August 27, and was later released to her room. She died on August 28th. Though salmonella is normally not deadly, in rare cases it can kill. One potentially complicating factor in Briana's case is that she had gastric bypass surgery in 2012.

An interesting write up of the case can be found on the following website. It says, in part (relating to vicarious liability for the cruise ship physicians):

“An entity that employs a physician is subject to vicarious liability for that physician-employee’s malpractice if the negligent act was committed in the course and scope of the employment (citing Franza, supra)…The fact that the employer does not control the medical judgment of the physician does not negate the employer’s liability. The fact that the passenger ticket contract may call the physician an ‘independent contractor’ does not negate the employer’s liability since the physician’s status depends upon not on the statements of the panties but upon all the circumstances of their dealings with each other”