As expected, Princess Cruises was named as a defendant in a second lawsuit filed in Miami arising out of the high profile case where the Star Princess cruise ship sailed by a small fishing boat called Fifty Cents with three young men aboard 100 miles out at sea, leaving two of the men to die.
Three passengers observed the small vessel with the men waiving in distress and alerted the cruise ship’s crew. Princess initially claimed that the cruise ship communicated with the men aboard the fishing boat who allegedly thanked them for avoiding their nets – a story that was publicly ridiculed. Princess then changed course and claimed that the passengers’ account of seeing the stricken fishing boat was never communicated to the bridge.
This lawsuit against Princess Cruises was filed on behalf of the family of 16 year old Fernando Osorio Rodriguez, the youngest to die. He reportedly died later at night on the same day that the Princess cruise ship sailed by. He left behind his mother, father and four siblings.
The first lawsuit was filed on behalf of 18 year old Adrian Vazquez, who survived after suffering at sea for a month. he was finally rescued some 600 miles from the fishing village where the men sailed from.
The Miami Herald, which usually avoids stories which put the cruise lines in a bad light quoted Rodriquez’s lawyer, Ira Leesfield, stating "It’s always been the moral and legal obligation of larger, well-equipped vessels to help people out . . . I don’t think you can put the expediency and the convenience and the economics of the ship that could rescue and save people’s lives before the value of people’s lives, and I think that’s what happened here. It’s really inexcusable.”
We were the first to report on the case in the U.S. in our articles: