Over a decade ago, maritime attorney Jeffrey Maltzman (photo below, middle) opened up the Miami office of the California law firm of Kaye Rose and Partners. Over the course of the past ten years, Mr. Maltzman created a firm of around twenty-five lawyers which represented Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises in a variety of passenger and crewmember cases. He teamed up with ace litigator Jeffrey Foreman (photo below, left), broke away from the Kaye Rose firm, and re-named his firm Maltzman Foreman.
Mr. Maltzman’s firm handled cruise line crisis management issues, such as when the Star Princess caught fire off of the coast of Jamaica. He defended some of the most high profile cases against the cruise industry, including many cases involving young women who disappeared on the high seas or were the victims of violent crimes, including:
The disappearance of Amy Bradley from Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas.
The disappearance of Merrian Carver from Celebrity Cruise’s Mercury.
The sexual assault of Janet Kelly on a cruise ship (a confidentiality order prohibits us from mentioning the name of the cruise line).
The sexual assault of Laurie Dishman on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas.
Mr. Maltzman’s firm was well known for its methodical and exhaustive investigation into the background of personal injury claimants and cruise ship crime victims. A good example of the aggressive style of defending cruise line cases is found in articles "Defense Team Found the Needle in the Haystack" and "When Winning is Everything, Maltzman Foreman is There." After winning a case filed by a group of elderly passengers against Cunard, the firm was quoted saying "there’s a saying that pigs get slaughtered . . . If you make them look like they’re greedy . . . that usually has an impact. So we tried to paint them as greedy, exaggerating, malingering."
We have litigated many cases against Mr. Maltzman’s firm. I have given him kudos in at least one prior blog article involving a disastrous bus excursion crash in the British Virgin Islands where a passenger was killed.
However, the result of the harsh personal style of attacking sexual assault victims and grieving families members is that the cruise industry, particularly Royal Caribbean, has created life time enemies. Many passengers who were raped or lost children on cruises and then subjected to the "make them look greedy, exaggerating, malingering" treatment have not forgotten their ill treatment following their personal cruise tragedies. These victims created the International Cruise Victims (ICV) organization. The ICV soundly defeated the cruise industry in the arena of public opinion. Ken Carver and firm clients Laurie Dishman and Janet Kelly all appeared on national television and testified before our U.S. Congress regarding cruise crime issues. There have been hundreds of articles in national and international publications involving the ICV members over the last several years. Their compelling stories were integral in Congress passing the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which now protects Americans on the high seas.
Whereas the Maltzman firm was skilled at winning the small battles involving individual cases, it was consistently trounced in the larger war being fought by victims demanding cruise line transparency and accountability.
So this year began with word that Mr. Maltzman had suddenly and unexpectedly left the firm he created long ago. The firm, now called Foreman Friedman, dropped Mr. Maltzman’s name and added the name of Mr. Maltzman’s partner, Darren Friedman (photo above, right). What happened? Who knows? Who cares? Mr. Maltzman will create another dynamo of a new firm, no doubt. Now there will be two firms where there was once one, both aggressively defending high profile cruise cases with a "winning is everything" attitude.
Photo Credit: South Florida Business Leader