Mercer Law Review: Admiralty

Articles / Publications

Mobile Partner John Kavanagh authors "Admiralty" section for the Summer 2016 issue of the Mercer Law Review.

The cases discussed herein represent decisions the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued in 2014 and 2015. While not an all-inclusive list of maritime decisions from the court during that timeframe, the Author identified and provided summaries of key decisions which should be of interest to the maritime practitioner.1


A. Medical Negligence

In Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.,2 the Eleventh Cir-cuit-specifically rejecting longstanding jurisprudence from its sister circuit-held a cruise ship passenger can sue a shipowner for medical negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior and the principles of apparent authority and apparent agency.3

Pasquale Vaglio was a passenger aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship EXPLORER OF THE SEAS. On July 23, 2011, while attempting to board a trolley at a port call4 in Bermuda, Vaglio fell and suffered a severe head injury.5 The court pointed out that the complaint alleged Vaglio "was required to go to the ship's medical center to be seen for his injuries."6 It does not explain why this was the case, but it is important to note the posture of the matter on appeal. The suit was dismissed pursuant to a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure7 motion filed by the defendant cruise line.8 Thus, the appellate court was compelled to "accept the well-pled allegations in the complaint and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff."9 Accordingly, the factual recitation in the appellate decision is straight from the plaintiff's complaint, which obviously presents a one-sided version of the underlying narrative.

To read the full review, please download "Admiralty."


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