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Cruise line faces huge payout over 70-year-old’s heart attack

March 12, 2019 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email


Royal Caribbean Cruises plans to appeal after a court ordered it to pay USD 3.38 million (AUD 4.8 million) to the family of a 70-year-old passenger who died of a heart attack aboard one of its ships.

Richard Puchalski was taking an Alaskan cruise with his family to celebrate his 70th birthday when he became ill.

Lawyers for his family argued that the ship’s doctor made several errors that turned a serious cardiac incident into a fatal heart attack, the Miami Herald reported.

Damages were determined to be USD 34,390.32 in medical expenses and USD 4.8 million in loss of companionship and pain and suffering. The jury ruled there was negligence on the part of several parties, including Royal Caribbean, which was judged to be 70% at fault. That’s how the USD 3.38 sum was arrived at.

Michael Haggard, a lawyer for Puchalski’s family, said: “Until the cruise line industry makes the long-overdue, necessary changes to the standard of care, more families will suffer these life changing tragedies, and we will continue to file these lawsuits and present to juries these obvious cases of negligence.”

Owen Torres, manager of corporate communications for Royal Caribbean, disagrees. Confirming the company’s plans to appeal, he said: “We respectfully disagree with the outcome of this case. We are considering our legal options, and we intend to appeal the decision.”

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    hmm this is a disturbing decision –

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