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HannaS77 March 19th, 2001 11:58 AM


There have been few published court cases involving travel insurance. You never really know the value of an insurance policy until you have a claim. Before spinning my yarn I point out that the information from a published court case is not subject to copyright.

The case, a ten page decision, is cited as Morris, Plaintiff v. Princess Cruises, American International Assistance Service(AIAS), National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Berkelycare, Cruise Consultants, Defendants, 236 Federal 3rd 1061(9thCir.2001). The main defendant Princess Cruises sold the Morrises a "Love Boat Care" policy; through Berkelycare, the Managing General Agent for the insurer, National Union Fire Insurance Co.

While on a cruise in 1955 by Mr. & Mrs. Morris from Athens to Bombay, India, Mr. Morris, who a history of heart problems contracted pneumonia. The "Love Boat Care " policy provided $25,000 emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital and $10,000 medical expense. Morris was taken to a hospital in Bombay, that was handled by AEA International, a firm that specializes in handling medical evacuation. The hospital was unable to handle the case so it was recommended to transfer Morris to another hospital that would not accept him unless he paid $1,200, which Mrs. Morris paid.

Mrs. Morris submitted a claim for $16,592 for trip cancellation and loss of personal belongings; $7,057 for medical expenses and the $1,200 cash payments. The insurer paid Mrs. Morris $12,593 including $4,705 for her medical expenses and the $1,200. The insurer also paid $16,526 for medical evacuation from Bombay to Texas. Mr. Morris died on December 15, 1995 while undergoing heart surgery in a Texas hospital. Mrs. Morris
filed suit against Princess Cruises for wrongful death, failure to provide adequate care aboard their ship, negligent evacuation to a hospital that proved to be inadequate, failure to prove an adequate insurance policy, etcetera, etcetera... She sued her travel agent Cruise Consultants for negligent misrepresentation. The poor soul was beaten and robbed while in a Bombay hotel.

All the defendants asked the trial court to dismiss the suit, which was the decision of the court. On appeal the United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit agreed with the trial court writing:" Although the Morrises suffered a harrowing experience in Bombay, Mrs. Morris failed to adduce any genuine dispute of material fact, suggesting that Princess Cruises or the Insurers are liable for any legally injury she suffered."

I intend not to offer legal advice, leaving that to the lawyers. The information is solely for educational purposes. I contracted pneumonia many years ago while aboard the Princess "Love Boat," the Island Pacific. By the time I entered a hospital I was near death. This is a serious illness that is difficult to treat even in a top graded stateside hospital.

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