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Miami Cruise Ship Attorneys Examine Recent Court Decision In Thompson v. Carnival Corporation

Miami cruise ship attorneys, Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, have over 130 combined years of litigation experience.  They have seen cases with many different factual scenarios. In fact, their experience will tell them that each case is unique: the people are different, the injuries are different, and the circumstances of the incident are different.  The defense to cruise ship claims, however, are predictable. Cruise ships try to avoid paying any money to compensate people for their injuries and use the same defenses in every case. Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano have the experience to anticipate certain defenses are prepared to counter them convincingly.

In the Thompson v. Carnival Corporation, the defendant Carnival asked the judge to dismiss the case against them when the plaintiff, Thompson, sued them for injuries Thompson suffered during a shore excursion. Thompson was a passenger aboard a Carnival cruise ship. During the cruise, Carnival offered all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) on shore excursions. Another company operated the ATV excursions. Thompson suffered serious injuries when the brakes of the ATV on which he rode failed.  Thompson sued Carnival and the excursion company.

The judge dismissed both parties from the case. The judge ruled that the court (United States District Court for the District of Southern Florida) did not have jurisdiction to hear the case against the excursion company. The judge concluded that the excursion company had no contacts to Florida because it was a foreign corporation and did not conduct business in Florida. Thus, the judge dismissed the case because the court could not lawfully hear the case. The plaintiff will need to bring a lawsuit in another country that has jurisdiction over the excursion company.

The judge examined the plaintiff’s claim against Carnival. The judge questioned whether Carnival could be liable for damages in this instance. Plaintiffs must set out facts in the complaint, which is the legal document containing the factual allegations which put the defendant on notice of a claim filed against them, alleging four factors. First, the plaintiff must allege that the defendant owed him a “duty of care” to protect the plaintiff from the type of injury he suffered. Second, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to satisfy the duty owed to the plaintiff. Third, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s failure caused harm to the plaintiff. Fourth, the plaintiff must allege that he suffered actual injuries.

Each case is different, and the question of whether the defendant failed to satisfy its duty of care to the plaintiff depends on the facts of the case.  Defendants will only be liable for injuries caused by dangers about which they knew or should have known. The defendant cannot be held liable for failure to protect against an injury that it did not know about or could not have reasonably foreseen would happen.

A court will not hold a cruise ship liable for injuries suffered by one of their passengers while not on the ship in most cases. The plaintiff needs to prove that the cruise line did not warn its passengers about dangers in places it knows passengers will or are likely to visit. The court makes it clear that the plaintiff needs facts to back up his claim the cruise line should have warned him about the potential dangers.

The trial court gave Thompson a glimmer of hope. Although the judge allowed Carnival’s motion to dismiss, the judge allowed Thompson to re-file his complaint with the court if he can supply facts to meet his burden.

Experienced Attorneys, Proven Results

The Miami Herald rated Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano a top litigation firm in Miami. Widely respected legal publication company Martindale-Hubbell gave Greenberg, Stone, &Urbano an AV rating for their experience and commitment to excellence. Call Miami cruise ship attorneys today at 888-499-9700 0r 305-595-2400 to make an appointment with Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano today.

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