Cruise vacations are popular, and many people embark on cruise lines out of Florida. While cruise ships are generally safe, circumstances can arise that cause passenger to suffer harm. Whether a cruise ship will be deemed liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition depends on numerous factors, including whether the defendant was or should have been aware of the condition. In a recent ruling issued in a lawsuit against a cruise line, a Florida court discussed what evidence is needed to establish actual and constructive notice of a harmful condition. If you were injured on a cruise, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to contact a Florida personal injury lawyer to determine your possible claims.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff was vacationing on a cruise ship owned by the defendant when she suffered bodily harm. Specifically, she suffered a partial amputation of her finger after it was caught in a door that slammed shut. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that the door constituted an unsafe condition and that the defendant failed to properly maintain the door or warn passengers of the potential risk of harm. Prior to trial, the defendant moved for summary judgment.
Notice of Harmful Conditions on Cruise Ships
The court explained that in order for the plaintiff to recover damages under maritime tort law, she must show that the defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff from certain harm, a breach of the obligation by the defendant, and actual harm proximately and actually caused by the breach. The court elaborated that the reasonable care standard they employed, which is based on what an ordinary person would do under the circumstances, dictates that a ship owner must have constructive or actual notice of the condition that created the risk in cases in which the risk is one that is commonly encountered on land and is not limited to cruise ships.
In the subject case, the court determined that the defendant was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the issues of negligent maintenance and failure to warn because there were factual disputes as to whether it actually knew of the risks created by the door that harmed the plaintiff or reasonably should have been aware of them, prior to the incident. As such, the court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and ordered the case to proceed to trial.
Confer with a Skilled Florida Attorney
Many people enjoy taking cruises, but cruise ships are not always safe, and some people, unfortunately, suffer significant injuries on their vacations. If you were hurt on a cruise, it is smart to confer with an attorney regarding your rights. The skilled Florida lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. possess the knowledge and resources needed to obtain favorable results in personal injury lawsuits, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or by calling 800-283-7442 to set up a confidential consultation.