Matthew Ashe of Stevenson, Washington filed a lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) after being assaulted during a vacation cruise on the Norwegian Star in March 2008.
Mr. Ashe alleges that while traveling with his family, three men violently attacked him with beer bottles and punched and kicked him in the face.
Mr. Ashe’s parents asked the cruise line to identify the attackers and provide a copy of the tapes from the cruise ship’s surveillance system, which recorded the incident. The cruise line refused to provide any information.
Mr. and Mrs. Ashe had to hire a local law firm for the purpose of obtaining the names of the assailants so that the crime could be reported to the FBI. The law firm made numerous requests for information to NCL over the course of one year, without success.
The Ashe family then hired a maritime lawyer in Miami, Florida where the cruise line is based. The cruise line responded by blocking all emails from the Ashes’ lawyer.
Finally, the Ashe family filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Miami, where the cruise line requires all disputes to be resolved.
“A family should not be forced to hire two law firms and file a Federal lawsuit in a courthouse 3,000 miles away just to obtain basic information about a crime on a cruise ship,” stated Tim Ashe, Matthew’s father.
Mr. and Mrs. Ashe joined the International Cruise Victims (ICV), a non-profit organization based in their home state of Washington, which assists victims of cruise ship crimes. The Ashe family intends to contact their congressional representatives to make certain that other cruise passengers are not mistreated in a similar manner.