Though cruise companies use several strategies which allow them to avoid some U.S. labor laws, the companies still have a duty to provide their workers with safe working conditions, and can be held liable when they fail to do so. A lawsuit, filed last year by a cruise ship musician, illustrates the kind of liability cruise companies face when they do not provide such a safe environment.
On August 15, 2016 Harbor City, California resident Gerald Dahir filed suit against Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in Galveston County District Court. In the suit, Dahir claimed that on September 13, 2015 he was injured when his company provided bunk bed broke, leading to a fall which severely injured his right leg and knee. According to the SE Texas Record, the victim claims that the eventual cost of his injuries could be more than $1 million.
Dahir sued Royal Caribbean for negligence, including “breach[ing] its duty to protect its employees, fail[ing] to hire competent master and/or crew, fail[ing] to properly secure the bunk bed, fail[ing] to provide a seaworthy vessel and fail[ing] and/or refused to provide maintenance and cure.”