BTG Files Legal Malpractice Lawsuit For Missed SOL for Injured Cruise Ship Passenger
The Business Trial Group has filed a legal malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a woman who claims her previously retained counsel failed to file the client’s cruise ship injury lawsuit on time.
Our client suffered serious injuries during a vacation on a cruise ship with Royal Caribbean Cruise, Ltd. She hired a New York-based law firm to prosecute her personal injury case against Royal Caribbean, but the firm missed the one year filing deadline imposed by the cruise line. As a result, the passenger’s claims against the cruise line were barred forever.
Client Slipped and Fell. Attorney Dropped the Ball.
In November 2017, our client was on board a Royal Caribbean ship when she slipped and fell on a wet substance in the ship’s dining room. According to the BTG’s lawsuit, she was unaware of the wet substance, which was not properly marked by Royal Caribbean. The slip and fall injury caused her to suffer torn ligaments in her wrist and a subsequent pain syndrome, necessitating surgery and leading to substantial medical expenses and lost wages.
Our client retained a personal injury law firm in New York to bring her claims against Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean’s standard passenger agreement requires any personal injury claims to be filed within one year of the date of injury. It was therefore incumbent upon the law firm to file a personal injury lawsuit by November 7, 2018.
The statute of limitations for negligence claims in Florida is generally four years, but cruise ship agreements often reduce it to just one year. The out-of-state attorney was not familiar with this nuance in the law, leading the attorney to miss the filing deadline against Royal Caribbean.
Recovering Damages For Attorney Mistakes: The Case Within a Case
Because the law firm failed to file the lawsuit against Royal Caribbean within the one-year statute of limitations, the client is forever barred from suing Royal Caribbean. She is now bringing a legal malpractice against that law firm to recover the damages she should have received.
Attorneys have a professional duty to perform legal services with a high degree of care, skill, and diligence. As our lawyers have previously explained, if you were damaged by legal malpractice, you must demonstrate what’s called “but for” causation. In other words, you must prove that if your lawyer had not made a mistake, you would have won the case. And if you can prove this, you can seek the damages you would have recovered, absent the attorney’s error.
Malpractice cases involving a missed statute of limitations have almost no gray area. However, even having established this fact, it is still necessary to show that you would have won the case “but for” the attorney’s filing error. This is sometimes called proving “the case within a case” or the “trial within a trial.”
According to the BTG’s lawsuit, Royal Caribbean’s negligence and recklessness was the direct and proximate cause of our client’s pain, suffering, injuries, and economic damages. It also states that our client suffered significant damages as a direct and proximate result of the law firm’s failure to provide legal services at a level expected of reasonably competent legal professionals.
Contingency-Fee Florida Legal Malpractice Lawyers
The Business Trial Group understands that you may be hesitant to file an attorney malpractice claim after being burned by a legal mistake. But with our contingency-fee litigation model, our clients pay no fees until and unless we win. And we have a proven track record of success in legal malpractice cases, including a recent $1.79 million verdict for a missed statute of limitations.
Many types of attorney errors give rise to malpractice claims, from contract-drafting errors and failure to file documents to poor client communication and conflicts of interest. For a free review of a potential malpractice case, call 888.343.8073 or Contact Us.