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Six Year Old Drowns on Carnival Cruise

Cruise shipAccording to a statement from Carnival Cruise Lines, a six-year-old boy drowned on the last day of a four-day Caribbean cruise at one of the ship’s pools, while with his family. These pool injury cases are typical of the cases we take at Ehline Law Firm, so I felt obligated to shed some light on the potential claims possible by the surviving family.

The Facts:

Have You Seen The Video Footage?

KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

After arriving at a port in Miami, the Miami-Dade Police Department identified the boy as Qwentyn Hunter of Winter Garden, Florida. According to Miami-Dade investigators, Hunter was swimming with his ten-year-old brother when the incident occurred. Passengers around the pool immediately pulled him out and began CPR.

Police have said that foul play is not suspected but the six-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. Victory ship passenger Shaina Shaw stated that she along with several other passengers helped in pulling the boy out of the pool. Shaw said the boy had been playing with his mother, father and older brother in the shallow end of the pool.

No Guards at the Pool? What?

Another passenger identified as Deshaun Christian said people were listening to music and dancing when the incident occurred. Christian said that it was frightening and people were trying to help the child. The Carnival Cruise ship Victory left from the Port of Miami on Thursday and returned to port on Monday.

Carnival Cruise Lines spokesman Joyce Oliva stated the cruise line company does not have lifeguards on duty at the pools aboard their vessels. She said that adults must accompany children under 13 when swimming in the ships pools.

What is The Law?

Here, the case will be handled under international admiralty-maritime law, treaty, and contract. Typically one would retain a cruise ship attorney in Florida when suing Carnival to learn all the nuances and time restrictions. Suffice it to say; a cruise ship lawsuit is an animal all its own.

If you want to sue a cruise line, you have to look at the passage contract, understand that typically a passenger or the survivor would have no more than six months to send a written claim to the Cruise Line Corporation listed in the passage contract. Once that is done, you may be able to bring a lawsuit in either Federal or State court. If the case were brought in California, it would be pursued under ordinary negligence principles.

Assuming that was the case here, the Christian family would argue that a reasonable cruise line would have additional security to enforce swimming pool safety. In fact, this should be the case regardless of whether they ply passengers, including parents, with alcohol till they can’t walk.

Also, there were distractions like loud music and dancing near the pool. Since children were present, the cruise lines should have had lifeguard type protection in any event. Additionally, cruise ships are common carriers under customary California negligence law.

Heightened Duty of Care.

This means that cruise ships and their controllers are subject to a heightened duty of care beyond just the standard, regular duty of care an average person would be submitted to. For example, a school teacher is in a superior position to a child and would have a “special duty” of care not to molest a child. A lawyer has a special duty of attention not to reveal client secrets and so on.

That being the case, the cruise ship had a special duty of care akin to strict liability, meaning that the cruise ship would have no defenses available and the case would be about damages.

Damages for Death.

The surviving family members will base their damages claims upon the financial resources the child would have contributed to them, and the loss of love, affection and everything else that comes with losing someone in such a tragic way. But DOSHA offers cruise lines even further protection from responsibility for their misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance.

In fact, if a child is killed since they are not a wage earner, the parents are severely limited in their recovery since they may not even make a claim. So the problem is that most parents are clueless as to these laws. Would you let your child on a cruise if you knew about this scandalous nonsense? The bottom line is that a cruise line can attract children to a nuisance like an unsecured pool, and escape paying.

But Ehline has successfully argued that a cruise line cannot submit to state law, and then hide behind treaties and maritime law. So the risks for both sides can come into play, instead of all the cards. Ehline would argue that the cruise lines submitted to California law, that DOSHA was a law passed in the 20’s to apply to fisherman, and that should not apply here. How the judge rules are usually based upon who makes the best argument.

DOSHA Claims.

As for adults, the problem is that if the court rules for the cruise lines, the unwary victim does not recover pain, suffering, grief, or bereavement if the decedent passed away outside of the territorial waters of the U.S. DOSHA provides only limited financial damages, such as lost wages.

When the cruise lines choose the jurisdiction and venue, they must submit to the rules of the case. That is why a lawyer who gets this stuff is so critical to moving the case forward favorably.

The stories I hear from victims of cruise ship injuries are utterly wretched, and I look forward to lobbying in DC for more cruise ship legislation. Cruise lines create a party-like environment of intoxication on a moving ship that rocks back and forth. People who are wasted get thrown about all the time!

Life Jackets.

This family could certainly argue that the children should have been given life jackets and that lifeguards should have been provided. The cruise line may counter that the parents are responsible for failing to supervise, but again, the last duty of care was with the cruise ship. I would fight hard for this family.

  • Sexual Attacks

For years, women and even children have been sexually assaulted onboard cruise ships but often the cruise industry has failed to report the crime and in fact actively assisted in covering up assaults by cruise ship employees.

Often the FBI is not informed, or when informed, may not consider these to be substantive cases. So that leaves it to attorneys like me to see that justice gets served. If you want to learn more about cruise ship passenger’s rights, contact Ehline Law Firm and Support the Strengthened Cruise Ship Bill of Rights.


Formal Safety and Cruise Ship Drowning:
Facts About Life Jackets and Personal Floatation Devices:


See The Video: Biker Gang Attacks Man, Wife, Child

Overall, motorcyclists are some of the most law-abiding people on the road at any given time. Motorcyclists are involved in many charity efforts and helping veterans. Their contributions to society are just a small number of what the right bikers do for the United States. However, as with any organization or group of people, there are examples of rotten people. Fortunately, they are the exception to the rule.

Watch the chilling footage below to see one such case. The footage shows the results of one confrontation. Fortunately, these types of incidents are rare and do not reflect the overall state of bikers today.

This video shows many of the concerns regarding motorcyclists. These are concerns for both bikers and others. Additionally, these demonstrate the difference between the average rider and a gang. Gangs are increasingly rare across the country and are the exception rather than the rule.

Luckily this attack was caught on tape. A dash cam is a valuable tool. This is especially the case if a driver needs to establish blame for an accident. This also can deter an angry driver if they see it.

This is why a helmet camera is such a valuable asset. The injured party can contact the police with that information. It is also important for attorneys to establish the cause or causes of any incident and assign responsibility. Insurance companies also seek such information. In short, there are many ways these cameras help you.

The Next Steps

Regardless of the circumstances, a motorcycle injury attorney is key to your recovery. The Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC is among the top vehicle accident offices in California. They can discuss your legal options with you and offer any help necessary.

Call or email us for more information or to set up a free consultation. Our team works on contingency and don’t ask for a cent unless we recover for you. We’ve helped hundreds of clients make their lives whole again. Let us do it for you, too.

No Charges in Nursing Home Abuse Case—with Camera Evidence

Action Alert – Ehline Law Reports that Ontario man is sick over apparent abuse of elderly parent

Woman being abused in a wheelchair
Nurse hits woman

The son shocked over the treatment of 85-year-old mother in a Peterborough, Ontario nursing home. And he is more devastated that the home and its monster employees, will not be facing criminal charges.  Although this case happened it Canada, we wanted to demonstrate that even in so-called “un-greedy” socialist countries, physical, mental and outright criminal abuse against patients is a very common allegation. In fact, some would argue that the state will go out of its way to protect fellow government agencies and health care providers from lawsuits or criminal charges in a state run society. Is that the case here?

Although this case happened it Canada, we wanted to demonstrate that even in so-called “un-greedy” socialist countries, physical, mental and outright criminal abuse against patients is a very common allegation. In fact, some would argue that the state will go out of its way to protect fellow government agencies and health care providers from lawsuits or criminal charges in a state run society. Is that the case here?

Son is “Sick” About the Treatment of His Elder Mother in a Care Home

According to Camille Parent, he is sick about the fact that the nursing home will not be facing charges, even though video camera footage was shown, of his mother is what he termed “manhandled.” At one point the video shows a dirty cloth being “shoved” into his mother’s face.

Although there are more than 5000 hours of video, see for yourself a few snippets of a feces covered cloth into mother’s face. Note she is an Alzheimer’s patient.

Parent said he is confused that no charges will be placed on the nursing home staff at St. Joseph’s at Fleming nursing home, where his mother is a resident. The woman identified by her son as Hellen MacDonald, a resident at the nursing home, also has dementia. He said that he began noticing scratches and bruises earlier this year on his 85-year-old mother. Parent said he made complaints to the management, but he still continued to see injuries, so he placed a hidden camera in MacDonald’s room.

During a four-day period, Parent said the video showed his mother being mistreated by the nursing home staff. The abuse included:

  • MacDonald being treated roughly while getting her diaper changed.
  • A dirty cloth being shoved in the 85 year-olds face, by a staff employee.
  • A nursing home employee is blowing his nose on MacDonald’s bed sheets.
  • Two of the employees making out in his mother’s room, while she was in bed.
  • Another nursing home resident was entering the room and rummaging through his mother’s things.

No Charges Against the Nursing Home—is it Special Protection for Elder Abuse?

The police after seeing the video footage said they were not pressing charges. What does the parent want to know why? He wants to see charges and wants to know why the elderly in long-term care are not being protected and why were there no charges filed.

The Ministry of Health investigated the nursing home and found several violations of the Long Term Care Act, and they fired the four employees from the video. That the parent feels the police have failed in providing any reasons for their decision, they didn’t file any charges. And he has since been invited to a meeting with the Crown Attorney on Friday.

If there are no current laws that the nursing home and staff cannot be charged, Parent said he would argue for stricter legislation to help in preventing similar types of abuse. MacDonald’s son stated that he has not decided whether he will ask another police force to conduct an independent investigation into the nursing home abuse.

But If a Human Did this to A Dog, Charges Would Be Filed

The son rightly points out in the above video, that if this kind of stuff were done to an animal, the person who did it would already be in jail. Ehline Law Firm agrees.  “Since before and even mores after 2008, it seems like the U.S. has had a reversal in its view on humanity.  “Fish, frogs, dogs and people in the country illegally, appear to have special rights that are not even afforded to humans and citizens,” said Michael P. Ehline, who went on to say, “it is like Bizarro world from Superman.”

Does anyone doubt what the son is saying is true?  Watch the video and tell us how charges were not filed! Clearly, there is evidence of assault under California criminal and civil law.  There was an unconsented to touching, that resulted in bruising and harm, there is even video evidence. There was also mental and physical anguish being inflicted upon the woman.

What more do the police need?  Ehline Law encourages you to share this article with your local Canadian and U.S. Lawmaker.  As an aside, in California, we have the Elder, and Dependent Adult Abuse laws and Ehline says: “there is no doubt that these nurses would be in jail, and that civil tort claims would already be working their way in the courts if this took place here”! The moral of the story is, get out there and support the son, by exposing this shameful treatment of our seniors.  It could be your mom or dad next! Take action.

Sources: Police not laying charges over St. Joseph’s at Fleming footage:

Road Manners in Motorcycle Group Riding Safety

Riding Etiquette Behind the Bars

Motorcycle riding
Motorcycle riding

Riding a bike is a privilege, not a right. The proper means of travel is different for each motorcyclist, but some common strains exist. Making sure that you and the other riders are safe is a no-brainer. Consider the conditions of the road and the potential challenges for both yourself and the others on the road.

Being polite on the road is a necessity. There is no room for aggressive or offensive driving. Rather, each rider has a chance to leave their commute a bit safer. With the right experience, we can all make the road one somewhat more pleasant and less likely to result in injury.

Common Motorcycle Etiquette

There are several major actions rides take to make this happen. These include:

  • Traveling at the appropriate speed, especially due to weather and traffic conditions.
  • Maintaining formation with other riders is key to avoid risk.
  • Stay alert and don’t ride tired. Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and other cars and motorcycles on the road.
  • Keep all motorcycles appropriately spaced on the road.

Many ways keeping safe on the road will help both you and other riders on the road. This is especially the case when riding on unfamiliar roads or in bad weather conditions. These are opportunities for all of us to keep the road a safer and better place to ride on.

These are only a portion of the ways to stay safe on the road. However, they make up an important part of the ways to avoid injury. It can also put you in a better position to prevent drunk and aggressive drivers. Keep all of these in mind each time you get behind the bars and hit the open road. Keep riding safe and alert, America.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is for Bikers and Drivers Awareness

Motorcycle Safety Is No Joke.

Every motorcyclist has enough to worry about when they get ready to ride. Between other riders, parts issues, and other concerns, they don’t need to worry about further safety issues. Then again, every rider has a role to play in the security of the roads. Helpful tips often utilized at the right time can save lives. That is the reason why motorcycle safety month was created.

Little boy riding a bike.
A young rider.

Our lead attorney, Michael Ehline, understands these issues intimately. Ehline is a motorcycle enthusiast and a lobbyist in Washington for bikers’ issues. So Ehline is a leading motorcycle legal expert. His tireless work helping motorcyclists is second to none. His team is fantastic and never stop until the job is done.

Keep in mind the sobering statistics. About half of the motorcyclists killed annually are experienced riders, often 40 or over. The largest share of deaths are young riders, but no one is immune from crashes and severe injury.

Motorcycle Safety Month is just a part of the potential solution. However, the role of safety is in everyone’s hands. When we understand the ways motorcycle accidents happen, we can avoid them.

Studying some National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show the potential to reduce the number of deaths on the road further. In 2015 the number of motorcyclist deaths increased, one of the few subsets of riders that increased. Traffic deaths in cars and trucks have consistently fallen over the last twenty years. Why are the numbers increasing for those behind the handlebars?

We all have a responsibility for our roads. Play your part, and offer any chance to drive defensively and use manners on the asphalt. Motorcycle deaths will again begin to fall, but only after we all pitch in.

Let’s work

Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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