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Woman in Wheelchair Sues Carnival Cruise After Gangway Injury


A woman in a wheelchair claims that she was injured when disembarking from a Carnival Cruise ship. She claims that despite asking for help, none of Carnival’s staff would help her and she couldn’t manage the incline. Her wheelchair went out of control and she struck a panel that was sticking out causing serious injury. She has since filed a lawsuit against the cruise giant and is seeking damages for her injuries.

According to the lawsuit, the cruise ship had stopped in the Dominican Republic at Amber Cove when the plaintiff chose to get off the ship to explore the area. When she approached the gangway ramp, she claims that she received no assistance from Carnival staff despite having asked for help navigating the ramp. The plaintiff contends that she then began rolling down the ramp out of control at a rapid speed and was struck by a board that was sticking out of the gangway. She claims that she suffered serious and permanent injury as a result of the accident. She is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages from Carnival for her injuries.

Gangway accidents on cruise ships 

A gangway is the ramp that connects the cruise vessel to the ground allowing passengers to enter and exit the vessel. Gangways are typically positioned at an incline and have handrails and textured floors to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Sometimes, however, the gangways can be dangerous to passengers particularly those using mobility devices such as wheelchairs. The incline is steep enough, however, to represent a potential danger to even able-bodied passengers.

In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff lost control of her wheelchair as it careened down the gangway at a rapid speed. She struck a board or panel that was sticking out and sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident. She is suing Carnival Cruises in part because they offered her no assistance to traverse the gangway.

Gangway accidents are relatively common aboard cruise vessels. Gangways have steep inclines that can result in slip-and-fall accidents and injuries. Potential dangers of gangways include:

  • Gangway accidents when the gangway is not properly secured to the dock
  • Slick or wet handrails that result in falls
  • Slippery flooring that results in slip-and-fall accidents
  • Failure to follow safe weight limits for the gangway
  • Excessively steep inclines
  • Failure to provide assistance to passengers

Maritime law requires that cruise ships offer safe methods for passengers to embark or disembark. These gangways are used by thousands of passengers aboard cruise vessels. There could be as many as 100 individuals on the gangway at any given time. The condition of the gangway must be periodically checked to ensure that it is in safe condition. The gangway is considered part of the ship and thus, the owner can be held liable for a gangway accident injury.

Talk to a Miami, FL Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Today 

Michael F. Guilford, P.A. represents the interests of passengers in cruise ship accidents. Call our Miami admiralty & maritime lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover damages related to your injuries.



  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
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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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