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Cruise line’s callousness over family’s tragedy hard to fathom

We have written before about how a loved one’s unexpected death can throw an entire family into emotional distress. The trauma of the event and the grief that is experienced has a way of freezing decision-making abilities.

Things that might be handled easily under normal circumstances become more difficult. There is no way to control how others are going to react. Stunning displays of callousness have been known to occur. If they are made in ignorance, they are perhaps forgivable. If they happen in the face of full awareness of the situation, they become difficult to comprehend.

This is understandably the reaction that was sparked in the family of a slain Ocala police officer. He was shot and killed in a tragic training accident last month. The day after the family laid the officer to rest, the man’s father says he was stunned to find himself in a battle with his favorite vacation cruise line.

Despite being a platinum member of the cruise line’s loyalty program, the father faced attitude from the company when he informed the operation that he and his family had decided to forego a coming trip. The death of his son just made it too hard.

The father says he informed a company operator that his son had been shot and killed and that he would like a refund for the trip. He says the response was “Well, if you want to play the dead son angle….” After that, it took the intervention of a TV news operation to get the cruise line to do something close to the right thing.

In this case, the family has not opted to pursue any claim against the responsible party. That is their option. But families of victims of wrongful death should know that the right to seek compensation does exist. But it’s understandable that someone might not be prepared to confront the legal questions that accompany such a claim. In such instances, it would do well to consult with experienced legal counsel.