Trip and Fall - Cruise Ship Injury - Premises Liability
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP attorney Kenneth J. Halperin obtained a $150,000.00 verdict in Federal Court, Southern District New York on behalf of a 57 year old man who was injured when he fell over a pullout sofa bed in his room, during a vacation on board a Celebrity Cruise Lines ship with his wife and grandson. The plaintiff's cabin was set up with a bed on the far side of the room and a sofa bed in the middle for his grandson. It was not until the first night of the cruise that the plaintiff realized, when his grandson used the sofa bed during the night that the only access to the bathroom on the opposite side of the room was to climb over the sofa bed, since there was no space whatsoever to walk around it. They were never informed of this arrangement prior to boarding the ship. They were simply told that the room accommodated three people. Despite realizing that this was dangerous, the ship was full and no other cabins were available. The accident occurred when plaintiff attempted to use the bathroom in the middle of the night on the fourth night of the cruise. As he attempted to maneuver over the sofa bed without waking up his grandson, he tripped and fell to the floor. As a result he suffered a fractured left ankle.
Additionally, approximately one month later he developed a deep vein thrombosis in the left leg, which resulted in a pulmonary embolism and required plaintiff to spend one week in the hospital. Ken convinced the jury that the plaintiff, at the very least, should have been notified prior to boarding the ship about the layout of the cabin. He was able to show that the arrangement within the cabin created a dangerous and hazardous trap. He was able to prove that the defendant was negligent in placing the plaintiff in a situation where he had no alternative, but to navigate over a bed in the middle of the night, in order to use the bathroom. Ken also medically connected the embolism and resulting hospitalization as a complication of the initial accident, which the defendant strenuously opposed. The jury returned its verdict for our client and found Celebrity Cruise Lines 80% negligent and plaintiff 20% negligent.