Florida Court Discusses Cruise Ship Liability for Slip and Fall Accident

Many people throughout Florida enjoy vacationing on cruise ships, and while cruises are generally safe, if the common areas of the ship are not properly maintained, it can lead to dangerous conditions that cause people to fall and sustain injuries. Fortunately, a person injured in an accident on a cruise ship may be able to recover damages under certain circumstances, as discussed in a recent Florida case. If you were injured while on vacation or in an accident on someone else’s property, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Florida personal injury attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover compensation.

Factual History of the Case

It is reported that while the plaintiff was traveling as a passenger on a cruise ship owned by the defendant, she slipped and fell on a wet substance that was on the floor of a bathroom. She suffered knee injuries in the fall. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing it negligently permitted liquid to remain on the floor in the area where she fell. Following the close of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that no reasonable jury could find that the defendant had actual or constructive notice of the condition prior to the plaintiff’s fall.

Allegedly, the plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that the defendant should have been aware of the condition because the liquid was on the floor for a long time, there were similar incidents involving bathroom floors that were wet due to clogged toilets, and the defendant failed to inspect the bathroom regularly pursuant to its own policy. After reviewing the evidence, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Cruise Ship Liability for Harm Caused by a Dangerous Condition

The court explained that under Florida law, a defendant can be deemed to have constructive notice of a hazardous condition when a plaintiff produces affirmative evidence regarding the length of time the condition existed prior to the fall. Here, however, the plaintiff relied on mere speculation. In other words, the plaintiff could not identify when the liquid presented itself as required to demonstrate constructive notice. The court explained that pursuant to established case law, simply because the liquid could have been on the floor for a long time did not mean that it was, and the evidence relied upon by the plaintiff was purely speculative.

Further, the court explained that while evidence of a prior incident is allowed in cases in which the incidents were substantially similar, in the subject case, there was only one other similar incident that occurred eight months prior. The court found, therefore, that this was insufficient to support the position the defendant should have had constructive notice of the condition. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Meet with a Skilled Florida Attorney

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious and permanent injuries, and parties that recklessly allow dangerous conditions to exist on their property should be held accountable for any harm that ensues. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, the dedicated Florida personal injury attorneys of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can assist you in seeking compensation for your harm, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 800-283-7442 to set up a meeting.

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