Nearly $5 Million Jury Verdict Against Royal Caribbean in Passenger Death
Miami, FL – Late Thursday, following a four-day trial, a federal court jury in Miami delivered a $4.8 million verdict against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the death of passenger Richard Puchalski.
A cruise to Alaska in July of 2016 is how the Puchalski family chose to enjoy the 70th birthday of its patriarch Richard. But that celebration vacation aboard RCCL’s Explorer of The Seas turned into a traumatic tragedy when Puchalski suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
Michael Haggard and Todd Michaels of The Haggard Law Firm in Coral Gables and co-counsel Phil
Michaels and Haggard explained to the jury that Dr. Sanders made three errors which turned the incident fatal: she failed to immediately send the grandfather to a facility that could handle the cardiac condition, she released Puchalski to his room while he was in the cardiac crisis, and she prescribed a medication which contradicted the condition she properly diagnosed. That medication led him into cardiac shock which ultimately killed him.
“Mr. Puchalski was the center of his family’s universe” says Haggard, the law firm’s Managing Partner. “He was married to his wife Cheryl for 41 years. She, along with his daughter, son-in-law, son, daughter-in-law and six-year-old grandson watched him die of something that was preventable” adds Haggard.
Michaels says “Dr. Sanders failed to send Mr. Pulaski to the hospital despite accurately diagnosing his condition. He adds “Puchalski would be alive and well if he had been referred to the hospital for treatment. This tragedy should be another powerful example that cruise lines need to increase the standards of medical care aboard their ships.”
“Until the cruise line industry makes the long-overdue, necessary changes to the standard of care, more families will suffer these life changing tragedies, and we will continue to file these lawsuits and present to juries these obvious cases of negligence“ explains Haggard.