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Trip and Fall Lawsuit Aboard Cruise Ship Reinstated by Appeals Court


A trip and fall lawsuit aboard a Carnival Cruise ship was reinstated by an appeals court after the district court tossed the case. A passenger was injured as she was exiting the aerobics room. She sustained injuries to her knee and filed a lawsuit against Carnival for trip and fall. In this article, we’ll discuss trip and fall lawsuits and why there is some question as to whether or not Carnival is liable.

Lawsuit Allegations 

The first part of any lawsuit is allegations. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant is guilty of some form of negligence and that this negligence was the direct or proximate cause of their injuries. They assert that they should be compensated for these injuries as they were not their own fault but the fault of the defendant.

A successful slip and fall lawsuit argues that the defendant either caused a dangerous condition, knew about a dangerous condition, or should have known about a dangerous condition on their premises that caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Foreknowledge is thus the most important element to prove negligence. If the defendant didn’t know about the dangerous condition, then there was nothing they could have done to remedy the condition, so they are not liable.

This was the sticking point for the plaintiff’s lawsuit. The district court ruled that the plaintiff had failed to provide any allegation related to the defendant’s negligence. In this case, the plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant either knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about the dangerous condition but didn’t for want of caring.

What Was the Dangerous Condition? 

The plaintiff testified before a three-judge panel that Carnival had a mirror near the floor that created an optical illusion that the steel baseboard was flush with the floor. However, it wasn’t. So she tripped and fell and injured her knee.

While the plaintiff could not find evidence that anyone else had tripped over this particular threshold, they did provide evidence that seven others had tripped over similar thresholds aboard the ship. The plaintiff argued that these other trip and fall incidents were enough to show that the defendant had caused to believe that the threshold was dangerous and failed to do anything about it. The three-judge panel voted unanimously to reinstate the case.

Now that the defendant has shown foreknowledge, her case can proceed to a jury or a settlement that compensates her for her injury, medical expenses, and decreased quality of life.

Slip and fall lawsuits aboard cruise ships are not uncommon. The trickiest thing about them is proving that the defendant knew about the danger or should have known about the danger. Defendants usually argue that the plaintiff is responsible for their injuries because they were distracted or not otherwise watching where they were going.

Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer 

If you’ve been injured aboard a cruise ship, call Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford today to schedule a free consultation. We will discuss your injury and the circumstances surrounding your injury and give you an honest case evaluation free of charge. We can help you recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.



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  • American Association for Justice

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Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

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44 West Flagler St.
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Toll Free: 866-473-2636
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