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Miami Cruise Ship Attorneys Discuss Recent Court Decision in Lombardi v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd.

As cruise ship injury lawyers in Miami we have a tremendous amount of experience litigating cases involving personal injuries that occurred on board a cruise ship at sea. Unfortunately, injuries frequently happen on cruise ships.  Cruise lines are liable for a person’s injuries if the cruise ship does not meet the standard. Cruise lines fight tooth and nail to avoid paying a settlement. Consequently, you need to retain a law firm that will work hard to recover the compensation you deserve.

Cruise lines owe their passengers a duty of care while on the high seas. Despite the duty owed to each passenger, cruise lines can get away with causing an injury to a passenger. In the Lombardi case, the passenger and her husband were avid cruisers. They were familiar with the layout of the stateroom after cruising for a couple of days. However, one evening Mrs. Lombardi had to get back into their stateroom in a rush. Mrs. Lombardi rushed into the bathroom, tripped over the raised threshold and fell hard. She sustained injuries from the fall. Mrs. Lombardi could not see where she was going. The stateroom’s lights did not come on automatically upon opening the door. Norwegian Cruise Lines refused to settle the case, and Lombardi filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of Southern Florida.

Norwegian successfully argued that they did no owe Mrs. Lombardi a duty to protect her from injury. As a result, the judge dismissed the case against Norwegian Cruise Lines. In so doing, the judge discussed the relevant law governing the issues in this case. Since the injury occurred while the ship was at sea, the principles of U.S. maritime law apply. Under maritime law, the injured person must prove that the cruise ship was negligent for the person’s injuries.  To prove negligence, the plaintiff in this case, Mrs. Lombardi, must show that the cruise line had a duty of care to protect the person from a particular type of injury. Additionally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the cruise line breached the duty owed to the plaintiff.  Also, the breach has to cause the injury the plaintiff suffered. Last, the plaintiff must show that she suffered actual harm.

The question that the judge needed to answer in the Lombardi case was whether there was evidence of Norwegian breaching a duty owed to the plaintiff. The cruise line owes the plaintiff a duty of care under the circumstances. When the dangerous condition is a design flaw or construction problem, the cruise ship must have knowledge of the existence of the problem. Knowledge, in this instance, means that the cruise ship actually knew or should have known about the offending condition.  Just because an accident occurred does not mean that there is a dangerous condition.  On the other hand, the cruise line must warn passengers about dangerous conditions on board. The duty to warn does not include dangers that are open and obvious to the average person.  Obvious, in this context, means that the dangerous condition can be observed by the person using his or her senses. In this case, the judge found that even though the lights were off in the stateroom and that the step was taller than on most cruise ships, the defendant was not liable for the plaintiff’s damages.

South Florida’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm Is Ready To Help You With Your Cruise Ship Injury Case

Let South Florida’s Top law firm – as voted by the Miami Herald – Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, represent you or your loved one for injuries or wrongful death caused by a cruise line’s negligence.  The attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, and & Urbano have over 130 years of combined legal experience at your service. They will fight to help you maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Call the South Florida Cruise Ship injury attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano – an AV-rated firm by Martindale-Hubbell – today at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to schedule your free consultation.


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