In October of 2013, 80 year old Elizabeth McQuillan went on a seven day cruise leaving from New Orleans aboard the Norwegian Jewel. The trip was intended to be one of relaxation and fun. She boarded the ship and went to her cabin, but found her luggage was not there. She looked down the hallway and spotted it a few doors down from her cabin so she went to retrieve it. However, as she walked towards the luggage there was a small step which caused her to trip and fall. She dislocated her shoulder in the accident. McQuillan required shoulder replacement surgery as a result of the accident. She filed suit against Norwegian Cruise Lines for a sum of $850,000 to cover her injuries and related expenses. Her case, though ultimately triumphant, highlights some of the challenges facing cruise ship accident victims.
Our cruise ship accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have over 130 years of collective experience assisting cruise ship accident victims. Our firm is dedicated to providing our injured clients with superior legal representation. With our assistance, injured cruise ship accident victims can take on the massive cruise lines and obtain a full recovery.
Choice of Venue
McQuillan, of Louisiana, initially attempted to file suit in her home state. Norwegian objected and requested the case be transferred to Florida, urging that the contract states all lawsuits must be filed in Florida. McQuillan argued first that she had never seen the contract so could not be bound by its terms. The cruise line provided proof of her receipt of the contract, negating that argument. She then argued she was elderly and forcing her to file in Florida would be an undue physical and financial burden. The court rejected this argument and granted transfer of the case.
This demonstrates one potential difficulty for cruise ship accident victims—location. The majority of all cruise tickets require that actions be filed in South Florida. At times plaintiffs can overcome this requirement, but as you can see even a strong argument for hardship will not usually prevail. As such, passengers need experienced Florida legal representation.
With the issue of venue fixed, McQuillan then urged the cruise line acted negligently because it created a dangerous condition with the step down. A jury ultimately found that the cruise ship was 60% at fault for McQuillan’s injury and thus awarded her $90,000. Her case was successfully, but shows the lengths the cruise line will go to in order to deny a claim. It also supports the notion that all injured cruise ship passengers will need an experienced cruise ship accident attorney on their side.
Contact the Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano Today For Your Free Consultation!
Cruise ships are intended to be a place of fun and relaxation, but occasionally accidents occur and passengers become injured. If you or a loved one has been injured aboard a cruise ship, contact the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano. Our outstanding cruise ship accident attorneys will diligently fight for your full recovery. We have over 130 collective years of experience representing cruise ship accident victims across South Florida and will put our considerable experience to work for you. Contact our firm as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. Our firm is proud to have received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and is ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.