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Woman in Wheelchair Sues Carnival After Sustaining Injury


A Carnival passenger has filed a lawsuit against the cruise company after she says she sustained injuries while going down the gangway. The woman, who was in a wheelchair at the time of the accident and an amputee, alleges she received “no assistance” from Carnival employees. According to the lawsuit, she attempted to traverse the gangway when her wheelchair began careening out of control and rolling down the gangway at a “rapid speed.” She eventually struck a plank that was sticking out and was ejected from the wheelchair. The lawsuit alleges that the woman sustained serious and permanent injuries as a result of the mishap. It also alleges she sustained “permanent disfigurement.”

Gangway injuries on cruise ships

Injuries that occur on gangways are not uncommon for cruise ship passengers. Gangways are the narrow ramps that are used by passengers to disembark the ship. They connect the ship to the dock. Because they are removable, they create a variety of safety hazards for passengers. Passengers have sued because they tripped, slipped, or fell on gangways. The cruise ship has a duty of care to maintain the gangway in safe condition. In the case that they have a disabled passenger, they must ensure that the passenger is safe traversing the gangway.

Premises liability lawsuits and cruise ships 

Cruise ships are one big premise. For that reason, cruise lines face a lot of lawsuits filed under a theory of premises liability. Premises liability lawsuits allege that a property owner maintained an unsafe condition on the premises, and this resulted in an injury to one of their guests. In Florida, premises liability lawsuits are filed under a theory of negligence that stipulates that the plaintiff must be able to prove that the property owner either knew or should have known about a dangerous condition.

In the case mentioned above, Carnival is faulted for failing to anticipate that their guest would have a problem traversing the gangway in her wheelchair. In some cases, gangways can be quite steep. An employee of the cruise line could have helped the woman down the gangway and prevented her wheelchair from rolling out of control. That never happened. Eventually, she struck a board that was sticking out of the gangway, and this resulted in her sustaining injuries. She is alleging that Carnival is responsible for those injuries.

Carnival has not issued a comment after being contacted about the lawsuit. Typically, defendants don’t respond in the media to lawsuits other than to say that they take the safety of their passengers very seriously. Carnival will probably claim that the woman caused her own injuries and failed to alert staff to her need for assistance. It is a common tactic to blame the victim when defending a personal injury lawsuit.

Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Today 

Michael F. Guilford, P.A. represents the interests of Miami residents who have been injured aboard cruise ships. Call our Miami admiralty & maritime attorneys today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case right away.



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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.
Miami, FL 33130

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