The FBI continues to investigate the mysterious case of a U.S. citizen who fell to her death from the upper deck of a cruise ship earlier this week.
Various news outlets are reporting that the victim, a 52-year-old woman who has yet to be identified, was seen struggling with someone before falling. The reports say that the woman’s attacker was chocking her before the fall.
The prospect that the woman may have been murdered is raising a number of questions. Who was her alleged killer? If she was murdered, was it by a crew member or a fellow passenger?
If a crew member kills a passenger, the cruise company could be liable for substantial economic damages, payable to the victim’s estate. If a fellow passenger were the killer, the cruise line could still be liable if it had previously obtained information that the perpetrator had dangerous tendencies.
Another factor is the geographical location where incident took place. For example, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) governs deaths which occur beyond the territorial limits of a state.
These and other factors can substantially affect the damages the victim’s estate is able to recover.