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Gangway Collapse Injures Passengers Aboard Cruise Ship


A recent report of a gangway collapse aboard a Norwegian cruise could result in a lawsuit filed against the company, according to reports. Embarking and disembarking from cruises can be more dangerous than the cruise itself. In some cases, small boats are used to ferry passengers to shore when the ship itself cannot dock at the port. When it can, a gangway is used. While gangway collapses remain infrequent, it’s a startling thing to have to go through.

The collapse resulted in Panamanian officials calling a code red to deal with the number of injuries. Passengers were rushed to a nearby hospital. No fatalities have been reported, but it is still unclear how many guests were injured, the severity of their injuries, or the cause of the gangway collapse.

Chances are bad, however, that the cruise line has an acceptable reason for the collapse. Gangway collapses are not completely unheard of, but they are rare. There is just no good reason for a gangway collapse, so the cruise line could end up settling with the injured guests. It would only then become a matter of how injured they are, whether or not they will be able to return to work, and whether or not they will ever regain their former quality of life.

The last time there was a gangway collapse 

The last gangway collapse occurred in 2003 aboard The Queen Mary. In that case, 13 were left dead after the gangway to The Queen Mary 2 collapsed. At the time, it was the largest passenger ship in the world. Two more would eventually lose their lives in the accident. 29 were injured.

Several employees faced involuntary manslaughter charges over the incident but were later acquitted. A shipyard was fined over the incident after it was determined that the ship was still under construction when it was being toured by shipyard workers and their families.

Generally speaking, gangway collapses happen due to maintenance failures. The crew is expected to routinely inspect equipment such as gangways that can cause severe injury. In this case, something went wrong and the crew failed to spot a problem before guests were allowed to embark. The gangway collapsed, resulting in the injury of guests.

Ultimately, if a lawsuit is filed, the responsible party is the one who has control over the gangway. So, it will ultimately fall on the cruise line to make the injured parties whole. From there, it’s a matter of determining how much the plaintiffs should receive for their injuries. That will come down to the extent of their injuries and the amount of financial deprivation they incur as a result of those injuries.

Talk to a Miami Maritime Attorney Today 

Need to sue a cruise line or domestic shipping company? Call Miami admiralty & maritime attorney Michael F. Guilford today. We can discuss your lawsuit in further detail and begin preparing your claim immediately. Call today to learn more.



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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

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