Tourism & Cruises

Heart attack lawsuit verdict orders Norwegian Cruise Line to pay passenger $2 million

The Norwegian Pearl docked at PortMiami in November 2012.
The Norwegian Pearl docked at PortMiami in November 2012. Miami Herald

Six days before a $3.38 million Miami federal court judgment against Royal Caribbean Cruises in a negligence lawsuit from a 2016 fatal heart attack, Norwegian Cruise Line got hit with a $2.084 million Miami federal court judgment in a negligence lawsuit from a 2016 heart attack.

Unlike Richard Puchalski, Trinidad and Tobago resident and NCL Norwegian Pearl passenger Andrew Ow Buland survived his heart attack.

Still, Ow Buland’s lawyers successfully argued that being kept on the ship until it docked in Miami two days after he went to the ship’s infirmary exacerbated the damage done to Ow Buland’s heart.

The complaint claimed that Ow Buland “was assured by ship’s medical personnel that the heart attack was very minor and that Mr. Ow Buland would be okay to remain on the vessel until it docked in Miami.”

Upon docking on Nov. 17, 2016, Ow Buland was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, and in cardiogenic shock when he got there. His stay in Miami Beach involved four stents implanted, five days on a balloon pump and life support and a return trip for defibrillator installation in his chest.

On March 1, the jury found NCL negligent and awarded Ow Buland $84,000 for loss of past and future services, $800,000 for future medical expenses and $1.2 million for pain and suffering, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life.

Royal Caribbean International may be on the hook for $20.3 million after losing a case against a former employee who suffered a catastrophic hand injury in 2008 while she was working on board.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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