Cruise ships are supposed to be all about fun, so one would think that working on a cruise ship would be fun as well. And, while this may be true, cruise ships can be and regularly are dangerous, even on the happiest cruise line in the world, Disney Cruise Lines. This was highlighted by recent litigation.
The workplace injury
The former cast member, which is what Disney calls their employees, worked on the Disney Magic cruise ship as a food operations manager. While working in a pastry area of the ship on Nov. 18, 2018, a pressurized chocolate canister exploded into the cast member’s face. This caused permanent hearing loss and severe facial burns.
The resulting litigation
As a result of this incident, the former cast member on Disney Cruise Lines recently sued Disney for negligence after he was permanently injured on board one of the company’s cruise ships. In his lawsuit, he argues that Disney failed to ensure that his workplace was reasonably safe, did not properly train their cast members and did not provide adequate preparation and non-heated surfaces, among 25 other reasons. Accordingly, the litigation alleges that Disney failed to identify these job hazards, and then also failed to eliminate or mitigate them.
The Jones Act
While Disney calls their former employee a cast member, he and the other employees that work on their cruise ships are considered “seaman,” even though they may not be actively navigating or maintaining the ship. In fact, all cruise ship employees, including chefs, hotel services, hairdressers, dealers, entertainers, etc. all qualify as seaman under the Jones Act. Though as this is a complicated law, New York, New York, residents or anyone else injured at sea should contact an attorney with experience litigating under the Jones Act.