Cruise Ship Heads Directly Into Fierce Storm



How can another cruise line – this time NCL – sail directly into the path of a fierce winter storm that everyone with a TV or internet connection knew was racing up the US eastern coast last week? Holzberg Legal now is representing passengers affected by the storm.

NCL Breakway Heads Directly Into Fierce Storm

In our experience – having dealt with passengers of previous storms (see Anthem OTS) and near sinking (Costa Concordia, January 13, 2012) – many passengers will suffer from issues including injuries from falls, impacts with objects in their cabins and around the ship, stress reactions including possible PTSD, anxiety and other physical and psychological issues. We believe that timely care and diagnosis are crucial both in coping with the after effects of such a traumatic experience but in proving your damage claims later.

HOLZBERG LEGAL successfully represented passengers who experienced similar harrowing high winds and seas on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas

Call Glenn J Holzberg if you were a passenger affected by this storm at 305-668-6410 or email us at: glenn@holzberglegal.com

image via NOLA

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HURRICANE IRMA DENIAL OF INSURANCE CLAIMS



Hurricane Irma affected millions of Floridians and the southeastern United States. Hurricanes and tropical storms unfortunately affect Florida with regularity and they cause considerable damage to our homes, businesses and property. Hurricane Irma’s damages were widespread, including roof and structural damage, window damage, leaks and water intrusion, rising floodwaters, and storm surge; causing significant damage to the exterior and interior of your homes and businesses. Many people’s homes were unlivable after Irma.

For those with insurance coverage on your home, the claims process is often difficult and time-consuming. Your policies are contracts that have specific coverage language that apply to your claims, with specific notice and proof requirements. You may be required to give statements under oath, which can later be used against you in litigation and dispute resolution. These conditions and measures are designed to later deny your claim. Insurance companies frequently do not offer sufficient money to fully compensate you for your loss and damages. Claims are routinely undervalued, under investigated, delayed, and denied or dramatically reduced. These tactics cost you time and money. We will handle your claim presentation, documentation, negotiation, appraisal, and litigation.

CALL:  (305) 668-6410                                                         EMAIL: GLENN@HOLZBERGLEGAL.COM

An experienced lawyer at Holzberg Legal can and will review your Insurance Contract to determine your rights and coverage under your specific insurance policy. The law protects you, but without an experienced lawyer, you may not receive the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. Let us work for you.

Florida law allows bad faith insurance claims in the event an insurance company fails to live up to its obligation and treat you fairly and honestly. We have associated with one of the leading bad faith insurance firms in Florida and are prepared to pursue all remedies against your insurance company including bad faith litigation

CALL US TODAY TO SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED TRIAL LAWYER: (305) 668 – 6410

If you are a homeowner seeking help with an insurance claim, a business owner with property damage, or you suffered business interruption, you need a qualified and experienced attorney to represent your interests, who knows the law and aggressively represent you. Do not take on the insurance companies alone, they will use your premium payments to find reasons to deny your claim. You cannot and should not do this without representation. There is no fee to us, if there is no recovery for you.

Holzberg Legal is led by Glenn J. Holzberg and an experienced team of paralegals, law clerks and assistants. Mr. Holzberg has been practicing law in state and federal courts across the United States for over 30 years, has been named a Super Lawyer for 5 years running (13’-17’) and twice named Florida Legal Elite (15’ & 17’), as well as being a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College and AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell.

We are handling claims statewide and are available for your claims throughout Florida including the Keys. If you have losses and damage from Hurricane Irma please contact Holzberg Legal today so that we can begin investigating your claim. Call us at (305) 668 – 6410 or email us at Glenn@holzberglegal.com.

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MEDICAL ERRORS -3RD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN US



Did you know that medical errors with the 3rd leading cause of death the United States?

You are 7 times more likely to die by medical errors in car accident, 6 times more likely to die than by poisoning, 23 times more likely to die by medical error then by gunshot. Even more surprising was to learn that 2 out of every 7 patients (27%) experience an adverse event while in the hospital, resulting in at least temporary harm – these adverse events include death, surgery performed on the wrong patient, the wrong type of surgery performed on a patient, the wrong type or dose of medication given, the patient is dropped by hospital staff and is injured or dies.


HOLZBERG LEGAL has been representing victims of medical malpractice for over 30 years. We frequently retain the leading experts in many fields of medicine and hospital administration to assist us in our cases. We have associated with some of the best lawyers in South Florida, in very big cases and have settled and litigated multi-million dollar cases with success.

We are available to review all cases involving medical errors to you and your loved ones at no charge to you. Our fees are contingent and unless we obtain a recovery for you. There is no fee for our service. We never charge clients for costs unless we recover money for you. We regularly associate with co-counsel, both within Florida and in many states, and will assist referring and co-counsel’s to appear on a limited basis, Pro hac vice, in Florida for purposes of co-counsel arrangements.

Let our considerable experience work for you. Visit Us at www.holzberglegal.com or call 305 – 668 – 6410 to discuss your case.

Posted in Medical Errors, Medical Malpractice, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Euro Trip: Cruising under the Athens Convention



Città_di_Rodi_08This summer’s cruise season is now in full swing. Many are taking advantage of the low euro conversion rates to cruise in and around Europe. All the major cruise lines have ships in the Mediterranean , the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic States. The cruise industry continues to build more and bigger ships, while deploying old and even newly renovated ships to foreign destinations (see, for example, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Ovation Of The Seas, China deployment) . Many US passengers are not aware of severe restrictions on their rights to collect damages for serious injuries and death resulting from cruise ship incidents and accidents.
Among the harshest maritime laws is the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), which severely limits surviving family members right to collect damages for a death occurring more than 9 nautical miles from US territorial waters. (See 46 U.S.C. 761, et seq).

Another harsh maritime law is the cap on damages imposed on passengers traveling outside the United States under “The Athens Convention.” Originally the damages for injury or death under this convention was limited to $46,666.00, special drawing rights (SDR’s) , which by 2002, amendment was raised to $250,000.00 SDR’s, and under some circumstances can be increased to $400,000 SDR’s. SDR’s are a monetary calculation which fluctuates daily with the market; page conversion rate can be seen here: http://www.imf.org/. For example, at today’s rates $250,000.00 SDR’s are approximately $348,000.00, while $400,000.00 SDR’s are valued at approximately $557,000.00. Therefore, when a passenger endures a catastrophic injury there is barely enough coverage to help pay for future medical expenses, without considering additional damages of: wage losses, mental anguish, pain, and suffering.

If you are injured on European or other foreign cruise, that does not have destination to any US ports, then these limits apply to your injury. The current status of the increased limits is still in question because the United States is not a signatory to the new amendments. However, a majority of signatory countries have approved the higher limits, giving rise to significant issues of international maritime law.

When hiring an attorney for your claim, make sure to choose one with experience in dealing with these and other complex issues.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Call (305-668-6410) or email Holzberg Legal (glenn@holzberglegal.com) today discuss your case.

Posted in Athens Convention, Europe, European Union, Royal Caribbean | Leave a comment


New Beverage Policy on Norwegian Cruise Ships



No AlcoholNorwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has announced that effective July 15, 2016, it will for the first time ban passengers from bringing their own beverages onto vessels and must buy all drinks they consume on board directly from NCL at ships bars. Why it took this long for NCL to act is troubling. It is been known for years that passengers hide alcohol, sometimes in very creative ways, in their luggage to save money, especially passengers under age 21.

For example, college-age kids mask liquor in Listerine and Old Spice bottles containing clear liquors dyed blue or green; a popular way for spring breakers to get liquor past port and ship security, and onto NCL and all the major cruise lines ships (e.g.:Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Holland America).

Written policies contained in the ships operating manuals are required under Maritime Law, International Treaties (the “ISM Code”), and International Maritime Regulations (“IMO’s”) for all passenger vessels carrying over 500 passengers. All the major cruise lines have operating manuals known as Safety Management Systems Manuals (SMS). All of the major cruise lines have known that alcohol contributes to injuries accidents attacks, and rapes on ships for years.

Anybody who’s been on a cruise ship knows how many bars serving all varieties of liquor are available. What many do not know is that there is typically a crew bar below decks open only to crew members and sometimes a crew bar available to higher-ranked officers and not to the typical crew member. Over service of alcohol has been a contributing factor in thousands of injury incidents on all cruise ships, including slip and trip and falls on wet decks, worn surfaces, raised thresholds, torn carpeting, uneven elevator doors, sliding glass doors, as well as many others.

Posted in Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, liquor, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean | Leave a comment


BREXIT: Cruising in Europe?



To the average American the words Brexit and the European Union meant very little until last Thursday. Anyone who follows the stock market and basic news now at least understands what Brexit meant not only for British citizens, but potentially to the US and global economy.
For those who follow the cruise industry, these are uncertain times as well. As the major cruise lines, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL and their related brands build bigger and more ships, deploying newer and older ships to Europe, China and even Cuba, global economic uncertainty cannot be ignored. Carnival stock, ticker symbol, CCL, has fallen since the British people elected to exit the European Union on 6/23/16 (expalining the name, “Brexit”).

British exit European Union

British exit European Union

Since the close of business Thursday Carnival stock has fallen approximately 12% per share. How much of this is Brexit, and how much of this is quarterly reported earnings (lower than projected) is for another article and other commentators. However,Carnival’s concerns about Brexit and its effect on the company’s near to midterm financial outlook going forward are reflected in the follwing:

“The British pound accounts for 30% of the company’s currency exposure, something that could impact earnings if its valuation stays depressed. Factoring in all currencies, Carnival expects a full-year impact of 27 cents a share for a 10% change in all currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. Carnival says that customers booking months in advance should help some of the current market volatility due to Brexit”.

Of concern to cruise travelers should be how European cruising will be affected by renegotiation of European Union agreements regarding port fees, taxes, baggage handling and things that matter to cruise passengers. International regulations such as GATT, are already complicated and extensive. To further complicate international laws, treaties and tariffs is another uncertainty customers in the market does not need, yet another unanticipated consequence of Brexit.

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2016 SUPERLAWYERS



I am gratified that I had been named a Super Lawyer for the 3rd year in a row by Super Lawyers in the field of Transportation/Maritime law. I was one of only 9 Florida Plaintiffs lawyers to achieve this honor in 2016. We are also grateful for continuing to grow Holzberg Legal with client and attorney referrals from all over the United States and beyond. This recognition can only come from opinions from Florida lawyers and continued positive client experiences. I am proud that we continue to build our practice by word-of-mouth and lawyer and client referrals. Thank you all.

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UBER – Who Can I Sue if I’m Injured?



For many years suing a taxi company for for your personal injuries was a hassle. Taxi companies are historically either under-insured, had surplus lines coverage, use second-rate insurance companies or play the corporate shell game to try to conceal the real owner of the vehicle. The advent of UBER (and LYFT) as both a popular and better, more comfortable choice for your transportation needs is changing this old, tired industry, in many ways, for the better.

Fortunately, in many states including Florida, in which UBER is competing with local taxi companies, unlike the taxis, they have chosen to obtain good insurance coverage with relatively high limits ($500,000-$1 million or more) and with reputable companies like State Farm. While State Farm is a typical nemesis for HOLZBERG LEGAL in automobile accident claims, they pay when they settle or when you beat them in court.

As leading Maritime and Transportation Lawyers in Florida, we have over 32 years experience suing major corporations, like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Chevron, American Airlines, Steiner Transocean, Schneider National Trucking,  and many others. WE are on the cutting edge of transportation and maritime issues in state and federal court. UBER is just another development in our fast-changing world. We are keeping up with and staying ahead of those changes.

Hire HOLZBERG LEGAL for your claims against UBER for any personal injury or wrongful death matter.

Glenn J Holzberg has recently been named one of 4 Florida Elite Transportation and Maritime lawyers in the state of Florida by the prestigious  Florida Legal Trend magazine, and only one of two plaintiff’s lawyers to earn this honor. For the second consecutive year we have also been named a Florida SUPER LAWYER in the field of Maritime, Transportation and Aviation Law.

Let us put our deep and extensive experience to work for you.

image via Digital Trends

Posted in Auto Accidents, Carnival, Florida Elite, Litigation, Maritime Death, State Farm, Super Lawyers, Transportation, Uber, Wrongful Death | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


NCL to Allegedly Shake up Cruise Industry with “Cost Saving”



I read an interesting article today published by Brian Sozzi, of www.thestreet.com, a website not co-founded by Jim Cramer, that follows the stock market. The article, entitled – How Norwegian Cruise Lines New CEO plans to shake up the Cruise Industry – was from an investing perspective, more CEO marketing, but troubling as a maritime lawyer. New NCL CEO Frank del Rio, former founder of Oceania Cruises, joined NCL when Prestige Cruises International (owners of Oceania and Seven Seas) was acquired by NCL.

What caught my eye was del Rio’s frequent reference to cost savings and increasing stock price by both increasing revenues and decreasing expenses. del Rio referred to “an obsession by execs with ordering new ships every few years”, “a focus on driving revenue and suppressing costs – you don’t win the game by doing one and not the other”, and I believe in (employing) fewer people (that are) more incentivized, well – compensated and have brought responsibilities”.

While del Rio’s views on ship deployment, seasonality and less “seven-day milk runs” may very well make stockholders happy, I question whether these related cost-saving attitudes will sacrifice passenger safety in the hands of fewer crew. Moreover based on my experience, it is highly unlikely the rank-and-file crew, those who you the cruise consumer primarily interact with, will benefit from higher salaries and incentivized earning structures.

Note del Rio’s views on expanding the cruise industry and Cuba. In his view, despite an admittedly weak infrastructure (“hotels, restaurants and roads”), he is not concerned because “we bring our own infrastructure with us, (because) when we visit we don’t need anything … Just a couple of buses so we can bring people to the sites).

How do you feel as a passenger knowing that this is the type of diligence that may very well be undertaken, under the protection of independent contractor provisions in your ticket, insulating the cruise lines from liability for foreign vendors such as Cuban bus operators who seriously injure passengers, while bringing you and your family “to the sites”?

image via The Street | By Brian Sozzi

Posted in Cruising Industry, Norwegian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Huge Victory for Medical Malpractice Claims Against Cruise Lines’ Physicians and Nurses



This week the 11th Circuit court of Appeals issued a long overdue opinion in Patricia Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., overturning the Barbetta case which has prevented many otherwise meritorious negligence cases for Cruise operator/owners’ vicarious liability in medical malpractice cases committed by ships’ physicians and nurses. Here is the link to the well reasoned opinion by Judge Stanley Marcus.

This opinion pulls down the shield that all cruise lines have used since Barbetta became law, immunizing them from any medical malpractice, no matter how egregious, against passengers, by doctors and nurses hired by cruise lines. These doctors and nurses are part of every ship’s crew, typically from foreign countries, of widely different backgrounds and training, and have little to no jurisdictional contacts with the US and especially Florida where all major cruise lines require a passenger to sue them in Federal Court in Miami. Even when we have spent considerable time and money to find and serve these foreign doctors with service of process, the cruise ship’s lawyers routinely get them dismissed for lack of in personam jurisdiction. See the Mottersbaugh case.

I have rejected countless sad cases of death and lifetime significant injuries caused by ship’s doctors and nurses, in clear cases of malpractice, because of this bad precedent. Finally cruise passengers will get the justice they deserve, including at least 3 current clients whose cases, after injuries caused by negligence on the ship or on excursions were made worse, or killed because of malpractice. Bravo to Judge Marcus. Now watch RCCL appeal to the US Supreme Court and lets see what they do. Reversal would serve a gross injustice to many deserving passengers who without this decision have no remedy in court.

Image via ZTopics

Posted in Litigation, Maritime Death, Medical Malpractice, Passenger Rights | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment