Lawsuit Filed Against Norwegian Cruise Line After Wheelchair Injures Other Passenger

Hortensia Santos Cruise Ship Passenger Accidental Death
Hortensia Santos
Hortensia Santos

A lawsuit filed on May, 30, 2017 against Norwegian Cruise Line is alleging accidental death after passenger Hortensia Santos, 90, who was cruising near Costa Maya, Mexico (see video below) aboard the Norwegian Getaway in the dining room on May 31, 2016 was injured. A crew member pushing another passenger in a wheelchair slammed into Santos while she was sitting at a table dining eating breakfast.

The lawsuit states, “Ms. Santos was seated at a table in a common dining area of the Getaway having  breakfast. At that time, another passenger who was being escorted in a wheelchair through the dining area by an employee or crew member of Defendant, slammed into Ms. Santos, pinning Ms. Santos’ torso with great pressure against the table where she was sitting, severely injuring Ms. Santos. Rather than immediately providing medical help to Ms. Santos, Defendant’s crew escorted Ms. Santos back to her cabin.

In the hours following the incident, Ms. Santos began to throw up blood and started vomiting a viscous liquid with the appearance of thick, brown cola. At 4:30 A.M., with her situation worsening, she was taken to the clinic onboard the Getaway where she was intubated and a dark substance removed from her stomach. The physician tending to Ms. Santos advised that hemoglobin testing should be performed every six hours as hemoglobin levels would indicate whether Ms. Santos was losing blood.

The physician also advised that an endoscopy should be performed at the nearest hospital once the ship — which was still on the high seas — docked in Costa Maya, Mexico (the next port of call for the Getaway), so that it could be determined whether Ms. Santos’ deteriorating health was due to internal injuries and/or internal bleeding. When the ship finally docked in Costa Maya, Ms. Santos was directed by Defendant’s medical staff and crew to a specific local Mexican hospital. The attending physician at the local hospital ordered a sonogram but explained to Ms. Santos’ relative that they had to wait for “the administrator.”

The Administrator explained that Ms. Santos had been stabilized, but the attending physician added that she needed “a procedure” and that her condition “was caused by something having hit her.” The endoscopy that was urged by the physician onboard the Getaway was never performed. Ms. Santos’ relative explained that she would be flying back to Miami immediately, and the attending physician and Administrator did not object. The hospital disconnected Ms. Santos’ IV and discharged her; but despite knowing that she would be flying back to Miami, did not provide a “fit to fly” report. On the flight back to Miami, Ms. Santos continued to vomit up blood, and during the flight her condition deteriorated completely so much so that the plane had to make an emergency landing in Miami. Ms. Santos was rushed to University of Miami Hospital where she was pronounced dead.”

Article Resources:

Video: Norwegian Getaway Cruise Vlog | Costa Maya Mexico (Aug 21, 2016)