Harris & Moure Attorney Discusses Rogue Wave Lawsuits in Wake of Injuries Aboard Louis Majesty

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Charles Moure discusses his 2004 case and the liability issues arising from “rogue waves” at sea.

rogue waves and other “acts of God” at sea are a commonly used defense by cruise ship vessel owners.

Rogue waves in the Mediterranean have caused two deaths aboard the Louis Majesty, and stirred questions about lawsuits arising from abnormally high waves. Charles Moure, a Seattle-based cruise injury attorney who has pursued a number of cruise accident cases, says that rogue waves and other “acts of God” at sea are a commonly used defense by cruise ship vessel owners. Often in these cases, other factors come into play to make the owner liable, such as vessel maneuvers by the officers on the bridge during rough weather, or machinery failure to the vessel’s helm or engine.

Moure has significant experience in rogue wave cases. In a 2004 case in the Western District of Washington, Mr. Moure represented Plaintiff M. Wyler in a case against Holland America cruise line (M. Wyler, et al v. Holland America Line-USA, Inc. et al). This reported case can be viewed at http://www.cruiseinjury.com/holland-america.html. The lawsuit arose after a rogue wave struck the side of the Zaandam cruise ship, “throwing Wyler from her chair” and causing her severe injuries. Federal District Court Judge Pechman issued an order stating that the case hinged on “whether the wave causing the lurch that injured the plaintiff was foreseeable.” The Judge ruled that there was “sufficient evidence to support a claim of negligence,” on behalf of the cruise ship’s staff for not having warned passengers of the severe weather. Moure believes the failure to warn was a critical factor in the Wyler case since Holland America officers had been participating in a turning maneuver at sea in a force 10 plus storm. The Captain and officers had an opportunity to warn passengers of the turning maneuver but they failed to do so.

Moure is not aware if any of the 14 injured on board the Louis Majesty have pursued claims against the cruise line as yet.

About Charles Moure

Charles Moure is the lead attorney in the cruise law practice of cruiseinjury.com, based in Seattle, Washington. He holds an advanced degree in maritime law and has been handling maritime cruise ship cases for about a decade.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Stephanie Henry
600 Stewart Street, Suite 1200
Tel: (206) 224-5657 (9 am to 5pm PST)     Fax: (206) 224-5659
Email: firm(at)harrismoure(dot)com

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