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An alleged casino boat injury brings maritime law into focus

Perhaps you are coming to Myrtle Beach for vacation and plan to go out on a casino boat during your visit. You may be unfamiliar with this kind of cruise. What happens if you fall ill or become injured?

A lawsuit recently filed in Texas gives a glimpse into maritime law and the results of an accident involving a casino boat passenger.

What happened

According to the petition filed in the Galveston County District Court, the woman bringing the lawsuit was a passenger on a casino boat in May 2017. She said she fell on a “hazardous” deck that had become slippery due to excess moisture and a “lack of suitable non-slip coating.” According to the lawsuit, the fall resulted in serious injuries that prevented the passenger from earning a living. She was suing the company that owned the casino vessel for between $200,000 and $1 million to cover medical expenses and lost wages plus “pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.”

Maritime law applies

General maritime law applies if someone becomes injured aboard a vessel sailing either in international waters or on navigable waters within the boundaries of the United States. The passenger filing the lawsuit in Texas claimed that when she fell, she was walking to the casino because the crew announced the vessel had crossed federal waters, making gambling a legal activity. Although more than two years had elapsed since the accident allegedly happened, the passenger was filing within the statute of limitations for maritime law, which is typically three years.

Seeking help

You may decide to go out on one of the local casino boats while in Myrtle Beach, and you obviously hope to have an enjoyable and uneventful cruise. However, keep in mind that there should be safety guidelines in place on the vessel, guidelines that the crew must strictly follow. If you should suffer an injury or fall ill while on board, explore your legal options to learn more about maritime law and whether it applies to the circumstances you encountered. 

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