The attached article from the Wall Street Journal highlights how the Death on High Seas Act (“the Act”) is preventing wrongful death attorneys from holding negligent cruise ship operators accountable when a passenger dies. The Act was originally meant to ensure widows of seamen who died in international waters recovered the financial support their husbands would have provided. Now, it prevents wrongful death attorneys from seeking any damages beyond pecuniary for the surviving family members. If the victim was a retiree or a child without any dependents, cruise ships are protected by law from paying anything to the families. This leaves many wrongful death attorneys with no choice but to turn down the case.
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