C.B. v. Carnival Corporation

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

May 29, 2015

C.B. v. Carnival Corporation

Complaint

This is complaint filed on behalf of a cruise ship passenger who alleges that she was sexually assaulted in her cabin by a member of Defendant’s crew.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MIAMI DIVISION
CASE NO.                                                    

C.B.,
Plaintiff,

v.

CARNIVAL CORPORATION,
Defendant.

                                                                        /

COMPLAINT

Plaintiff sues Defendant and alleges:

PRELIMINARY ALLEGATIONS

    1. Plaintiff, C.B. (“Plaintiff”), is a citizen of Florida.
    2. Defendant, CARNIVAL CORPORATION (“Defendant”), is a foreign entity with its principal place of business in Miami, Florida.
    3. This is a case of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, as hereinafter more fully appears. This is an admiralty or maritime claim within the meaning of Rule 9(h).
    4. At all times material hereto, Defendant, personally or through an agent:
      1. Operated, conducted, engaged in or carried on a business venture in this state and/or county or had an office or agency in this state and/or county;
      2. Was engaged in substantial activity within this state;
      3. Operated vessels in the waters of this state;
      4. Committed one or more of the acts stated in Florida Statutes §§ 48.081, 48.181 or 48.193;
      5. The acts of Defendant set out in this Complaint occurred in whole or in part in this county and/or state.
      6. The Defendant was engaged in the business of providing to the public and to the Plaintiff in particular, for compensation, vacation cruises aboard the vessel, the Dream
      1. Defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state.
      1. The causes of action asserted in this Complaint arise under the General Maritime Law of the United States.
      2. At all times material hereto, Defendant owned, operated, managed, maintained and/or controlled the vessel, the Dream
      3. On or about July 26, 2014, Plaintiff was a paying passenger on Defendant’s vessel which was in navigable waters.
      4. On or about July 26, 2014, the Plaintiff was sexually assaulted in her cabin by a member of Defendant’s crew.
      5. Instances of rapes and/or sexual assault occur aboard Defendant’s vessels at an alarming rate. Yet Defendant fails to take adequate steps or provide adequate security and/or training and/or supervision to prevent such rapes and/or sexual assaults, and fails to warn its passengers of the growing epidemic of rape and sexual assault at sea. Defendant’s motive for failing to warn its passengers is financial in nature; that is, Defendant willfully chooses not to warn its passengers about rapes and sexual assaults aboard its ships so as not to scare any prospective passengers away. Such willful and outrageous conduct on the part of the Defendant exposes Defendant to punitive damages. See Lobegeiger v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., No. 11-21620, 2011 WL 3703329, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXI S 93933 (S.D. Fla Aug. 23, 2011).

COUNT I – VICARIOUS LIABILITY FOR RAPE / SEXUAL ASSAULT

      1. Plaintiff realleges, incorporates by reference, and adopts her allegations set forth in paragraphs one through ten as though alleged originally herein.
      2. On or about July 26, 2014, the Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by a member of Defendant’s crew.
      3. At all times material hereto, the individual who assaulted the Plaintiff was hired, retained, and/or employed by the Defendant.
      4. At all times material, Defendant was and is vicariously liable for the tortious actions of its crewmembers / employees, including the individual who assaulted the Plaintiff.
      5. As a direct and proximate result of the tortious actions of the individual who assaulted the Plaintiff, for which Defendant is vicariously liable as set forth above, the Plaintiff was injured about her body and extremities, suffered physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, physical disability, impairment, inconvenience in the normal pursuits and pleasures of life, feelings of economic insecurity caused by disability, disfigurement, aggravation of any previously existing conditions therefrom, incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of her injuries including psychiatric care, suffered physical handicap, lost wages, income lost in the past, and her working ability and earning capacity has been impaired. The injuries and damages are permanent or continuing in nature, and Plaintiff will suffer the losses and impairments in the future.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment for all damages recoverable under the law against the Defendant, including punitive damages, and demands jury trial of all issues so triable.

COUNT II – NEGLIGENCE

      1. Plaintiff realleges, incorporates by reference, and adopts her allegations set forth in paragraphs one through eleven as though alleged originally herein.
      2. At all times material hereto, it was the duty of Defendant to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances while she was a passenger aboard Defendant’s ship.
      3. On or about July 26, 2014 and thereafter, the Plaintiff was injured due to the fault and negligence of Defendant, and/or its agents, servants and/or employees as follows:
        1. Failing to provide reasonably safe conditions for Plaintiff aboard Defendant’s vessel. Said safe conditions include, but are not limited to, the prevention of permitting an atmosphere to exist wherein persons could rape and/or sexually assault passengers; and/or
        2. Negligently hiring the individual who assaulted the Plaintiff; and/or
        3. Negligently retaining the individual who assaulted the Plaintiff; and/or
        4. Failing to adequately monitor the cabin; and/or
        5. Failing to adequately monitor passengers; and/or
        6. Failing to provide adequate security aboard the vessel; and/or
        7. Failing to warn passengers of the dangers of sexual assaults aboard Defendant’s ships; and/or
        8. Failing to warn passengers of the prevalence of sexual assaults aboard Defendant’s ships; and/or
        9. Failing to protect passengers from sexual assaults, physical batteries and/or rapes aboard Defendant’s ships; and/or
        10. Failing to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and/or procedures to prevent sexual assaults aboard Defendant’s ships; and/or
        11. Failing to provide adequate training for their crewmembers; and/or
        12. Failing to provide adequate supervision for their crewmembers; and/or
        13. Failing to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures designed to prevent sexual assaults by crewmembers on passengers; and/or
        14. Failing to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures following the report of sexual assault aboard Defendant’s ships.
        15. As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Defendant, the Plaintiff was directly and proximately caused to be sexually assaulted and/or suffer emotional distress following the assault.
      4. As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Defendant, the Plaintiff was injured about her body and extremities, suffered physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, physical disability, impairment, inconvenience in the normal pursuits and pleasures of life, feelings of economic insecurity caused by disability, disfigurement, aggravation of any previously existing conditions therefrom, incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of her injuries including psychiatric care, suffered physical handicap, lost wages, income lost in the past, and her working ability and earning capacity has been impaired. The injuries and damages are permanent or continuing in nature, and Plaintiff will suffer the losses and impairments in the future.

            WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand judgment for all damages recoverable under the law against the Defendants, including punitive damages, and demand trial by jury.

Respectfully submitted,

LIPCON, MARGULIES, ALSINA
& WINKLEMAN, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
Suite 1776, One Biscayne Tower
2 South Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Florida 33131
Telephone: (305) 373-3016
Facsimile: (305) 373-6204

By //s Jason R. Margulies ___________
JASON R. MARGULIES
Florida Bar No.: 57916