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Travel Law


Avoiding dangerous vacations

Hon. Thomas A. Dickerson  Aug 18, 2016

Planning a vacation? Please consider, among other things, your planned destination and the incidence of criminal activity, terrorism and disease in the local environment as well as the nature and type of accidents which tourists have previously sustained running the spectrum from wrongful death to slip, trips and falls. This is the fourth year that we have posted dangerous destination information collected from news articles and reported law cases.

The Safest Destinations

In D’Ambrosio, Peace Index Rates The Safest Destinations, travelmarketreport.com (6/20/2016) it was noted that “Iceland, Denmark and Austria are the three safest countries in the world. That’s the finding of this year’s Global Peace Index (GPI) published annually by the Institute of Economic and Peace. The study rates 163 countries based on 23 factors, including violent crime, political terror, import/export of weapons, refugee influx and violent demonstrations. Rounding out the Top Ten peaceful destinations are New Zealand, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and Slovenia”.

Health Issues Abroad

As noted in Tourism: 49 percent of the health problems when traveling related to the destination, eturbonews.com (6/25/2015) “Observatory (TIO) with the support of the World Tourism Organization 49 percent of the health problems affecting tourists and travelers when they visit other countries are related to the county of destination, such as gastrointestinal or respiratory infections. 26 percent of the problems faced by travelers have to do with trauma, especially fractures”.

Organization Of This Treatise

The information in this treatise is categorized by region, types of accidents and by country and includes some discussions about liability theories, personal jurisdiction, forum non conveniens and choice of law. Included in these misadventures is a section on Behaving Yourself while abroad and being arrested for failing to respect local customs and traditions1.

THE CARIBBEAN

The Caribbean is a very popular destination for United States citizens and others arriving by cruise ship or aircraft. There are many tourist accidents in the Caribbean some of which involve criminal activity.

WRONGFUL DEATH

Wrongful death claims have arisen from accidents occurring in Antigua2, Aruba3, Bahamas4, Bermuda5, British Virgin Islands6, Cuba7, Dominica8, Dominican Republic9, Great Shrimp Cay10, Jamaica11, Martinique12, Nassau13, Puerto Rico14, St. Maarten15, St. Thomas16, Trinidad & Tabago17 and Turks and Caicos Islands18.

ASSAULTS, ROBBERIES & TERRORISM

Robberies and assaults are quite common in the Caribbean19 have taken place in the Bahamas20, Barbados21, Cayman Islands22, Jamaica23, Puerto Rico24, St. Kitts25, St. Lucia26 and St. Thomas27.

RAPES, SEXUAL ASSAULTS & KIDNAPING

Rapes, sexual assaults and child molestations have taken place in Bahamas28, Barbados29, British West Indies30, Cayman Islands31, Jamaica32, St. Thomas33 and Turks and Caicos34.

WATER SPORTS

Accidents involving water sports have taken place in Aruba35, Bahamas36, British Virgin Islands37, Cayman Islands38, Cuba39, Dominica40, Dominican Republic41, Grenada42, Jamaica43, Netherlands Antilles44, Puerto Rico45, St. Lucia46, Turks & Caicos47 and U.S. Virgin Islands48.

SLIP & FALLS & VARIOUS OTHER INJURIES

Slips, trips, falls and various other injuries have taken place in Antigua49, Aruba50, Bahamas51, Barbados52, Bermuda53, British Virgin Islands54, Dominican Republic55, Haiti56, Jamaica57, Puerto Rico58, St. Kitts59, St. John60 and St. Thomas61.

RIDING, VIEWING AND BEING ATTACKED BY ANIMALS

Accidents involving animals have taken place in the Bahamas62, Jamaica63, Nassau64 and Puerto Rico65.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation accidents have taken place in the Bahamas66, Bimini67, Dominica68, Dominican Republic69, Jamaica70 Florida: Tracy v. VRL Operators, Ltd., Case No: 50 2006 CA 005719, Fla. Cir. Ct. Palm Beach Cty (Jan. 29, 2008) (after stay at Hedonism III in Ocho Rios, Jamaica tourist injured in tour bus accident), aff’d 985 So. 2d 1101 (Fla. App. 2008))., St. Lucia71, St. Maarten72, St. Thomas73, Trinidad74 and the U.S. Virgin Islands75.

DISEASE, FOOD POISONING & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Tourists are well advised not to rely on foreign clinics and medical professionals when a physical injury occurs. The best course of action for an injured tourist is to return to the U.S. as fast as possible for medical care. Medical malpractice and the contraction of disease has taken place in the Bahamas76, Barbados77 Dominican Republic78, Netherlands Antilles79 and Puerto Rico80.

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA, CANADA & UNITED STATES

Destinations in Central and South America generate accidents similar to those in the Caribbean. Mexico, in particular, has invested extraordinary sums in developing many beach destinations on both coasts and as a result has the highest number of travel accidents in this region.

WRONGFUL DEATH

Accidents involving wrongful death have taken place in Argentina81, Belize82, Brazil83, California84, Canada85, Chile86, Columbia87, Costa Rica88, Florida89, Honduras90, Mexico91, New York92, Panama93, Philadelphia94, Peru95 and Venezuela96.

ASSAULTS, ROBBERIES & TERRORISM

Assaults and robberies have taken place in California97, Ecuador98, Florida99, Georgia100, Mexico101, New York102, Peru103 and Belize104.

RAPES, SEXUAL ASSAULTS & KIDNAPPING

Rapes and sexual assaults have taken place in Brazil105, the Galapagos Islands106 and Mexico107.

WATER SPORTS

Accidents involving water sports have taken place in Canada108, Costa Rica109 (Ill. App. 1998) (tourist purchased a fishing vacation tour to Costa Rica from travel agent Fish & Game Frontiers with accommodations at Rio Parismina Lodge; tourist joins fishing trip and is injured when his boat is swamped by waves as river empties into ocean). and Mexico110.

SLIP & FALLS AND VARIOUS OTHER ACCIDENTS

Accidents involving major and minor injuries have taken place in Argentina111, Belize112, Brazil113, Canada114, Costa Rica115, Ecuador116, Mexico117 and Peru118.

RIDING, VIEWING & BEING ATTACKED BY ANIMALS

Accidents involving animals have taken place in Brazil119, Canada120, Florida121, and Mexico122
TRANSPORTATION

Transportation accidents have taken place in Argentina123, Bolivia124, Canada125, Costa Rica126, Mexico127, Philadelphia128 and Virgin Islands129.

DISEASE, FOOD POISONING & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical malpractice and the contraction of diseases have taken place in Belize130, Costa Rica131, Mexico132 and New York133

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Africa, Asia, The Middle East and the Pacific nations are attracting ever greater numbers of tourists while at the same time attracting terrorists, pirates and very scary diseases like Ebola.

WRONGFUL DEATH

Travel accidents involving wrongful death have taken place in Afghanistan134, Algeria135, Australia136, Bali137, Bangladesh138, Botswana139, Cameroon140; Cape Verde Islands141, China142, Congo143, East Java144, Egypt145, French Polynesia146, Ghana147, Hong Kong148, India149, Indonesia150, Iraq151, Jordan152, Kenya153, Laos154, Malaysia155, Maldives156, Mali157, Myanmar158, Nepal159, New Caledonia160, New Zealand161, Nigeria162, North Korea163; Pakistan164, Philippines165, Red Sea166, Saudi Arabia167 Somalia168, South Africa169, South Korea170, Sudan171, Taiwan172, Tanzania173, Tibet174, Thailand175, Tunisia176, Turkey177, Uganda178 and Yemen179.

ASSAULTS, ROBBERIES & TERRORISM

Assaults and robberies have taken place in Afghanistan180, Algeria181, Australia182, Bali183, Bangladesh184, Cape Verde Islands185, China186, Dubai187, Egypt188, Ethiopia189, Fiji190, India191, Irag192, Israel193, Kenya194, Libya195, Malaysia196, Mali197, Mongolia198, Mozambique199, Nigeria200, Pakistan201, Saudi Arabia202, Somalia203, South Africa204, Tanzania205, Thailand206, Tunisia207, Turkey208, Uzbekistan209, Vietnam210, Zaire211, Zanzibar212, Zimbabwe213 and the Indian Ocean waters off the coast of Somalia214.

RAPES, SEXUAL ASSAULTS, KIDNAPING & PIRACY

Rapes and sexual assaults have taken place in Australia215, Dubai216, Egypt217, India218, Israel219, Malaysia220, Nepal221 and Thailand222. Kidnaping and piracy continue to be a problem in this region223.

WATER SPORTS

Accidents involving water sports have taken place in China224, Fiji225, Gabon226, Guam227, Hong Kong228, Indonesia229, Laos230, Northern Mariana Islands231, Tahiti232, Taiwan233 and Thailand234.

SLIP & FALLS, FIRES & VARIOUS OTHER ACCIDENTS

Slips, trips and falls and various other injuries have taken place in Australia235, China236, Egypt237, Fiji238, Hong Kong239, Indonesia240, Israel241, Japan242, Jordan243, Kenya244, Northern Mariana Islands245, Philippines246, Saudi Arabia247, South Africa248, Tanzania249, Turkey250 and Wake Island251.

RIDING, VIEWING AND BEING ATTACKED BY ANIMALS

Accidents involving animals have taken place in Australia252, Egypt253, Namibia254, New Caledonia255, South Africa256, Sri Lanka257, and Thailand258.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation accidents have taken place in, Australia259, Bali260, Bangladesh261, China262, Congo263, Egypt264, Fiji265, French Polynesia266, Gabon267, Ghana268, India269, Israel, Jordan, Kenya270, Macau271, Malaysia272, Malawi273, Mali274, Morocco275, Myanmar276, Nepal277, New Zealand278, Philippines279, South Africa280, South Korea281, Sudan282, Taiwan283, Tanzania284, Thailand285, Turkey286 and Vietnam287.

DISEASE, FOOD POISONING & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Incidents of medical malpractice and the contraction of disease have taken place in China288awarded total damages of $41,750,000; disclaimer not enforced)., Dubai289, Fiji290, Guinea291, India292, Kenya293, Liberia294, Lebanon295, Nigeria296, Saudi Arabia297, Sierra Leone298, South Korea299, Sudan300 and Uganda301.

ARCTIC, ANTARCTIC, EUROPE, RUSSIA & CENTRAL ASIA

From frozen waste lands to old and traditional venues travel accidents occur here as well.

WRONGFUL DEATH

Wrongful deaths have taken place in Albania302, Austria303, Belgium304, Britain305, Bulgaria306, France307, Germany308, Greece309, Hungary310, Iceland311, Italy312, Kazakhstan313, Mallorca314, Malta315, Norway316, Portugal317, Russia318, Spain319, Switzerland320, Tajikistan321, Turkey322 and Ukraine323.

ASSAULTS, ROBBERIES & TERRORISM

Assaults, robberies and terrorist acts have taken place in Belgium324, Britain325, Bulgaria326, Dagestan327, France328, Greece329, Ireland330, Italy331, Poland332, Scotland333, Tajikistan334 and Ukraine335.

RAPES, SEXUAL ASSAULTS & KIDNAPING

Rapes and sexual assaults have taken place in France336 and kidnappings in Cyprus337 and Pakistan338.

SLIP & FALLS AND VARIOUS OTHER ACCIDENTS

Slip and falls and other injuries have taken place in Czech Republic339, England340, France341, Greece342, Hungary343, Ireland344, Italy345, Russia346 and Spain347.

RIDING. VIEWING & BEING ATTACKED BY ANIMALS

Riding accidents have taken place in Greece348, alligators have been reported in Spain349, polar bears attack tourists in Norway350 and seagulls terrorize tourists in Wales351.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation accidents have taken place in Antarctica352, Austria353, England354, France355, Germany356, Greece357, Holland358, Hungary359 Italy360, Kazakhstan361, Poland362, Portugal363, Rumania364, Russia365, Scotland366, Spain367 and Ukraine368.

DISEASE, FOOD POISONING & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical malpractice and the contraction of disease have taken place in Europe369, Germany370, Greece371, Italy372, Slovakia373 and Ukraine374.

Justice Dickerson has been writing about travel law for 39 years including his annually updated law books, Travel Law, Law Journal Press (2016) and Litigating International Torts in U.S. Courts, Thomson Reuters WestLaw (2016), and over 400 legal articles many of which are available at nycourts.gov/courts/9jd/taxcertatd.shtml. Justice Dickerson is also the author of Class Actions: The Law of 50 States, Law Journal Press (2016). For additional travel law news and developments, especially in the member states of the EU, see IFTTA.org.

This article may not be reproduced without the permission of Thomas A. Dickerson.

Read many of Justice Dickerson’s articles here.

Avoiding dangerous vacations
Hon. Thomas A. Dickerson



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