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Florida Octogenarian Hospitalized With Sepsis After Cruise Ship Infirmary Staff Incorrectly Inserts Urinary Catheter


The COVID-19 pandemic has given a cruise ships a reputation for being dangerous and disease-ridden places to spend one’s leisure time, but in the before times, cruises were a popular form of recreation for seniors who were healthy enough to climb the staircases from one deck of the ship to another and to light up the dance floor in the ship’s ballroom.  In the old days, the worst you had to worry about on a cruise ship was seasickness or an unpleasant bout of norovirus; no one expected to contract a life-threatening illness on a cruise ship.  A South Florida man was healthy when he embarked on a cruise in 2018, but an error by the staff of the ship’s infirmary caused his health to suffer permanently.  If you have suffered a serious injury or illness because of a preventable medical error at a cruise ship’s infirmary, contact a Florida medical malpractice lawyer.

Medical Error on Cruise Ship Causes Permanent Injury

In 2018, Lewis Masotti of Royal Palm Beach was enjoying his retirement.  At age 85, his hobbies were playing golf and going on cruises with his wife Judy.  For several months, he had been using a urinary catheter, which he was usually able to insert by himself.  Before he embarked on the cruise, his primary care doctor advised him that, if he needed help inserting the catheter, he should ask the nurses in the ship’s infirmary to help him insert it.

On the morning of May 23, 2018, Masotti was onboard the Harmony of the Sea, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  Unable to insert his own catheter, he asked the infirmary nurse to help him.  As soon as the nurse inserted the catheter, it filled with blood, and Masotti said that this had never happened before.  The infirmary doctor dismissed his concerns, saying that there must have been blood in his bladder, although he had no history of this.  The doctor told Masotti to come back at 4:00.

By noon, Masotti was acutely ill, trembling and confused.  Judy called for assistance, but a doctor did not see Masotti until 4:00, and even then, the infirmary offered no treatment except to replace the drainage bag.  When the ship docked at Cozumel, Masotti was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with sepsis as a result of being unable to empty his bladder.  He never returned to his previous state of health, although he regained his ability to walk.

Lewis and Judy Masotti filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, seeking $750,000 in damages.  Lewis Masotti died in 2021 at age 88.  The outcome of the lawsuit, if it has reached a settlement or verdict, has not become a matter of public record.

Contact Halpern Santos & Pinkert About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

A medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover compensation if the medical personnel on a cruise ship breached their duty of care, causing you to suffer serious injuries.  Contact Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. in Coral Gables, Florida to discuss your case.




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