Out of Control Cruise Ship Slams into Venice Port; 5 Injured
There are few other places like Venice, a historically medieval city situated on a lagoon with sprawling interconnected canals that evoke both adventure and romance. It is so unique and world-renown that it brings in 20 million tourists a year.
As the city is both small and ancient, whether the city can continue handling growing surges of tourists that arrive by sea has become an increasingly heated political issue. The debate came to a head when as reported by CNBC, the cruise ship MSC Opera slammed into a dock and tourist river boat, damaging the boat and injuring 5 people.
A personal injury case involving a cruise ship collision is like two issues in one. One has to do with the collision into the ship or port, and the other has to do with the injury of the passengers/pedestrians.
Traffic rules regarding boats and ships are both different and similar compared to cars in that ships have their own “Rules of the Road.” And while they’re different from country to country, what is agreed upon is that smaller or faster vessels must make extra effort to be able to maneuver around slower and larger boats.
This changes when the boat is both stationary and docked. It’s the same thing as hitting a parked car, no one is at fault but you.
In regard to the passengers, no one on the cruise ship was injured, but five women on the riverboat were. One who was released from the hospital the same day with the other four being advised to remain under care for the next several days.
Based on what is currently known, what led to this crash is that the ship’s engine was locked, and upon loss of the ship’s control, they activated all procedures to avoid the collision.
Still, despite all their emergency procedures, MSC Cruises (the owner of the cruise ship) will likely be found at fault and receive the penalties in claims from the five women, the owner of the river boat, and also the city of Venice for any property damage to the port.
The only way that that MSC Cruises can expect to reduce liability in this case is if the ship builder or parts manufacturer is found at fault for an improper build or manufacturing a bad engine respectively.
The MSC Opera however, has been in service successfully since 2004, so there’s no chance the builder, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, can be held liable.