A man recently sued Carnival Cruise Lines for an accident that occurred in the men’s room aboard the Carnival Imagination. He claimed that sometime between 8:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., he entered the men’s room and, after taking a couple of steps, fell and broke his leg. We did not represent this plaintiff, but according to court documents, he testified that after he fell, his clothes and part of his back were wet.
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He also testified that one of Carnival’s crew members was inside the restroom at the time of the fall. He did not know why or for how long the floor was wet. The evidence showed that a Carnival Hotel Steward named Win Thu Ya (“Ya”) had cleaned the men’s room sometime around 8:00 p.m. Carnival’s mandatory bathroom cleaning procedure requires crew members to finish cleaning any bathroom by mopping the floor with sanitizer and rinsing it with water.
Typically, a cruise line will obtain a “Passenger Injury Statement,” which they use to discredit a passenger and as a tool to destroy any potential claim. In this man’s Passenger Injury Statement. He claimed there were no signs to warn him the floor was wet, and there was no warning cone or sign in front of the men’s room. Carnival is supposed to post warning cones and signs in and around the bathroom whenever the bathroom floor is wet.
Carnival’s lawyers filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the claim, seeking to have the entire case dismissed. Specifically, Carnival alleged the following:
(1) there was no dangerous condition; and
(2) it did not have actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition.
In order for an injured passenger to win a maritime tort claim, a plaintiff must show that . . .
(1) the cruise line had a duty to protect against a particular injury;
(2) the cruise line breached that duty;
(3) the breach actually and proximately caused the injury; and
(4) the person suffered an actual injury.
Carnival claimed that the passenger could not identify the substance he slipped on, how the substance got there, or how long it had been there, and that he did not actually see the substance on the floor; therefore, there was no evidence of an unreasonably dangerous condition. Cruise lines like to argue that a shipowner does not serve as “an insurer to its passengers,” which means that just because someone falls and gets hurt while on a cruise, the cruise line is not automatically legally liable for the injuries and damage. However, simply because the injured passenger cannot identify the substance he slipped on, how it got there, or how long it was there, that does not mean the condition of the bathroom was not dangerous.
Federal court judge Cecilia Altonaga found that there was ample evidence to support the man’s claim that there was a dangerous condition because he testified that he slipped and fell on a wet floor and that half of his body was wet as a result of the fall. Additionally, since Carnival’s crewmembers mop the floor with sanitizer and then rinse it with water–and must do so during this cleaning–they are required to wear slip-resistant shoes. The cruise line is also required to post signs and warning cones when the bathroom is wet.
Based on this evidence, a jury could conclude the wet floor presented a dangerous condition. In other words, there is ample evidence to show the floor may have been wet, and a jury may determine a dangerous condition existed, and Carnival owed the man a duty to protect against that condition. The case constitutes a significant victory not just for this plaintiff, but for any passenger who is injured while on a cruise ship by slipping on a wet and slippery deck surface. We congratulate him and his attorneys on this result. The case will now proceed to a jury.
Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident on Carnival Cruise
If you have been injured on a cruise by falling on a wet deck, it is important to understand how and why the accident occurred and what the cruise line did and did not do to prevent it. We recommend that you consult with an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer as soon as possible following any incident so that a comprehensive investigation can be performed as quickly as possible.
Our law firm has investigated thousands of slip, trip, and fall cases on behalf of people from around the world. Engaging in a lawsuit due to a slip and fall accident on Carnival Cruise Lines is a complex process that is best handled by an experienced cruise ship injury attorney. We are located in Miami, Florida, near the world headquarters of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Norwegian Cruise Lines as well as the United States Federal District Court, where claims against the major cruise lines are required to be filed.
We are pleased to offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has a potential claim, and you can reach us toll-free at 1-866-597-4529 or at 305-441-0440, by email at [email protected], or SKYPE. Not all accident cases are viable claims, but understanding the law and the facts that apply to maritime injury accident lawsuits is crucial. Since these cases have to be filed in Federal Court, the lawyer must be admitted to practice in that jurisdiction and know the intricate rules of evidence and procedure that apply to these matters.
We are passionate about holding cruise lines accountable for putting their profits ahead of passenger safety. We can help you obtain fair and reasonable compensation for the injury, lost wages, medical expenses, transportation costs, loss of the enjoyment of the cruise, and pain and suffering. Call us today–we are ready to help.