Charles R. Lipcon

Charles R. Lipcon is the firm's founding attorney and has been handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims for over 40 years.Read More »

Jason R. Marguiles

Jason R. Margulies is an experienced maritime lawyer and an active trial attorney handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims.Read More »

Ricardo V. Alsina

Ricardo V. Alsina is an active trial attorney, handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims.Read More »

Michael A. Winkleman

Mr. Winkleman is an active trial and appellate attorney handling all personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims, as well as complex business disputes.Read More »

Articles Posted in Our Clients

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According to reports a woman that was drugged and raped on a cruise that left from Miami on February 1st has now filed suit against the Carnival Cruise Line.

It is reported that the woman identified as Morgan Black a mother and piano teacher from Jacksonville who went on the Sixthman Music Cruise on the ship Carnival Victory.

Morgan’s suit claims she was drugged and raped by a fellow passenger the last night of the cruise, which was February 4th.

In her suit that is being presented by her attorneys Charles Lipcon of Miami, a cruise ship litigation attorney and Gloria Allred the attorney from California who has taken part in victims rights cases. The Carnival Cruise Line is being held responsible for neglecting to have security cameras in all of the common areas of the ship.

Lipcon, Morgan’s attorney has a published book that discusses these type of incidences that he states happens often and he estimated that he files approximately one suit a week for victims of cruise ships. [The books is called Unsafe on the High Seas and can be purchased here].

It is reported that the cruise line has made a statement that they would not comment on this case, as they have not seen the suit, however their priority is to keep passengers and the crew safe on their ships. They have security officers who are not in uniform on their cruises and many are retired police officers and other law professionals on board their ships.

This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in Miami on Thursday June 19th as a U.S. Senate subcommittee in Washington D.C. was hearing evidence as to the safety for passengers aboard cruise ships. Among those who testified was Kendall Carver whose daughter disappeared approximately three years ago from a cruise ship and is the president of International Cruise Victims.

While Carver stated he was pleased with the way this committee meeting went, part of the reason that these meetings are necessary are because of what advocates say is a non-existence of government involvement, vague jurisdictions and their corporate policies.

This was the first hearing held to discuss the safety of American passengers on cruise ships although there have been meetings on this issue by House Committee.

by Otto Smyth

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A female crew member working on a Port Canaveral-based cruise ship filed a lawsuit today in federal court against Carnival Cruise Lines, accusing the Miami-based cruise line of forced labor, slavery and human trafficking.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Florida, attorneys for Reshma Harilal, a 33-year-old resident of South Africa, ask that she is removed from the Carnival Glory cruise ship, where she is currently working. The suit also asks that her passport is returned to her, and that she be paid wages that she agreed to work under.

“Based on what our client has told us, there are other crew members who are also working in lower positions and at a lower pay than they agreed when they boarded the vessel,” said Tonya Meister, an associate at the Miami-based law firm Lipcon Margulies & Alsina. “This case stands for more than money. Human beings should not be treated this way. They should not be forced to work under conditions they did not agree upon, and that’s what this case is about.”

Carnival officials could not immediately be reached for comment today.

With Harilal aboard, the Carnival Glory left Port Canaveral on Saturday.

Court documents claim that Harilal traveled from South Africa to take a position as a cabin steward on the Glory, after signing a contract indicating that would be her position. While already aboard the ship, Harilal was told to work as an assistant cabin steward instead, the suit claims. The cabin steward job pays $1,500 every two weeks, and the assistant job pays $250 to $300 every two weeks, the suit claims.

The Glory was in Belize on Tuesday, was expected to dock in Bahamas on Friday, and was scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Saturday.

Attorneys have faxed the complaint to the ship, and are hopeful that Harilal will be removed from the ship Thursday or Friday, when the ship is in the Bahamas, and then will be brought back to Miami.

Harilal holds a tourist visa, and would stay with her daughter, who lives in Florida, attorney Meister said.

Read a copy of the lawsuit (PDF).


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Montel Williams is airing a show on Monday (10/16/063) called Dream Trips Turn Tragic. The show will include an interview with one of our maritime law firm’s cruise ship sexual assault clients. The show will also interview familty members of passengers that have disappeared on cruise ships.

We will try to get a copy of the show to post on this blog after it has aired. Check your local listings to see what time Montel Williams is on in your area and watch it on Monday.

Here’s the summary on the show about cruise ship vacations turning tragic:

When most people get ready to take their dream vacation, they plan what to pack, what to do and where to go, but they rarely plan on how to stay safe. We’ll meet people who say they were on their dream trips when tragedy struck…and their lives will never be the same. We’ll meet Laurie, who says she was raped on a cruise ship while on vacation. We’ll also meet Melinda and Duane, whose relaxing holiday turned into a terrifying adventure when they were targeted by thieves. They were on vacation driving down the coast in Costa Rica, when they ran into a gang of gun-toting bandits on the highway. They were shot at until they were able to finally find safety in a small town restaurant. We’ll talk to Sue, Ron, and Katie, a family left with many unanswered questions after their son (Katie’s brother) Daniel went missing from a cruise ship. Daniel was on his first week-long vacation with his friends when he became sick one night while alone on the ship’s deck. He was leaning over the railing of the cruise ship and suddenly fell overboard. Kimberly Dean-Edwards, a legislative board member for International Cruise Victims will also join us to talk about her work with Congress to try and get a bill passed that will hold cruise lines more accountable for crimes and missing person cases at sea. We’ll also meet Sandee and her two children, Ryan and Krysta. While on a family vacation in Florida, Sandee’s then 13-year-old son Ryan, got caught up in rough water in the Gulf of Mexico. Her husband Larry and another man on the beach raced into the water to save him. Ryan managed to get to shore safely but Larry was still caught in the riptide. Sandee arrived at the water’s edge to find beachgoers attempting to drag Larry to safety. Unfortunately, Larry drowned trying to save his son’s life.

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Our cruise ship sexual assault client continues to make headlines as she continues to strike back not only on with a legal remedy using our maritime law firm’s expertise in handling cruise ship sexual assault cases, but also on the political front demanding that laws are enacted to better protect cruise ship passengers from crime on cruise ships.

Read the story in the Charleston Gazzette:

Gropers: Women fight back
The Charleston Gazzette
September 01, 2006

Former movie muscleman Arnold Schwarzenneger was notorious for groping women sexually. But he wasn’t arrested. Instead, California voters elected him governor.

Various West Virginia politicians and public officials have cost taxpayers millions by pawing unreceptive women employees or visitors in government offices, resulting in sexual harassment lawsuits. But the politicians didn’t pay the damage settlements – West Virginians did.

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The Charleston Gazzette published a story covering the cruise ship sexual assault of one of our maritime law firm’s clients. Read the article below:

Kimberly Dean Edwards recounts how a fellow passenger sexually assaulted her in 2004. Now, with the help of some West Virginia lawmakers, she and the International Cruise Victims organization are battling for legislation to make cruise lines accountable.

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Some cruise ship rape victims have been very active with lawmakers in getting new legislation passed to better protect cruise passengers from crimes at sea and make cruising safer. Here is one of our client’s letters she received from Congressman Mollohan regarding her attack and what he promisses to do regarding cruise ship crime.

TIP: You can click on the letter below to see a larger image (must allow pop-ups).

Lipcon, Margulies & Alsina, P.A. represents this client with respect to her cruise ship sexual assault case. If you would like a confidential consultation regarding a cruise ship crime or sexual assault please contact us.

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Free, a leading legal advice forum, yields discussion thread on crewmember rape and Charles R. Lipcon’s experience in handling these types of cases. Here’s an excerpt from the discussion thread:

You might consider having her contact the attorneys at the following site as they are very experienced in cruise line liability cases.
Thank you everyone. I contacted Charles Lipcon yesterday, and he has been a termendous help. He is now guiding my daughter through this difficult process.

Read the entire thread on Free Advice.