Jane Doe as Mother and Natural Guardian of John Doe, a Minor v. Carnival Corp.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

January 07, 2014

Jane Doe as Mother and Natural Guardian of John Doe, a Minor v. Carnival Corp.

Complaint

Many people enjoy the onboard amenities offered by modern cruise ships. Those amenities often include child play areas, but passengers should be wary of the dangers that exist in those play areas. In this case, a minor passenger was injured when he slipped and fell inside a spray park aboard a Carnival cruise ship. The spray park lacked any supervision and the climbing surfaces were made of a hard slippery plastic. This surface was dangerous for young children in a dry condition, but when made wet by the activities in the spray park it became an even more dangerous condition that caused injury to a young passenger.

UNITED STATES DISCTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MIAMI DIVISION
CASE NO.
JANE DOE,
as parent and natural guardian of
JOHN DOE, a minor,
Plaintiff,

v.

CARNIVAL CORPORATION,
Defendant.
___________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff sues Defendant and alleges:

PRELIMINARY ALLEGATIONS

1. Plaintiffs are citizens of New York, and Defendant Carnival Corporation (“Carnival”) is a Panamanian corporation with its principal place of business in Florida.

2. The matter in controversy exceeds, exclusive of interest and costs, the sum specified by 28 U.S.C. § 1332. In the event diversity jurisdiction does not apply, this matter falls under the Article III admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of this Court.

3. Defendant, at all times material hereto, personally or through an agent:
a. Operated, conducted, engaged in or carried on a business venture in this state and/or country or had an office or agency in this state and/or country;
b. Was engaged in substantial activity within this state;
c. Operated vessels in the navigable waters of this state;
d. Committed one or more of the acts stated in Florida Statutes, Sections 48.081(5), 48.181 or 48.193;
e. The acts of Defendant set out in this Complaint occurred in whole or in part in this county and/or state;
f. The Defendant, as a common carrier, was engaged in the business of providing to the public and to the Plaintiff in particular, for compensation, vacation cruises aboard the vessel, M/V SPLENDOR.

4. JOHN DOE is a Minor. JOHN DOE is represented in this action by his mother and natural guardian, JANE DOE.

5. At all times material hereto, Defendant Carnival is subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of this state.

6. At all times material hereto, the causes of action asserted in this Complaint arise under the General Maritime Laws of the United States.

7. At all times material hereto, Defendant Carnival owned, operated, managed, maintained and/or controlled the M/V SPLENDOR.

8. On or about August 15, 2013, Plaintiff JANE DOE, as parent and natural guardian of JOHN DOE, was a paying passenger on the M/V SPLENDOR, which was in navigable waters.,

9. On or about August 15, 2013, JOHN DOE suffered serious personal injuries while playing in the children’s spray park aboard the SPLENDOR when he slipped and fell as a result of the negligence of the Defendant, Carnival.

COUNT I – NEGLIGENCE

Plaintiff re-alleges, adopts and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs one (1) through nine (9) as though alleged originally herein.

10. It was the duty of Carnival to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.

11. On or about August 15, 2013, Carnival and/or its agents, servants, joint ventures and/or employees breached its duty to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.

12. As a result of Carnival’s breach, Plaintiff was injured when he slipped and fell in the children’s spray park aboard the vessel. Plaintiff was injured due to the fault and/or negligence of Carnival and/or its agents, servants, joint ventures and/or employees as follows:
a. Failure to adequately inspect the area where Plaintiff suffered his accident to determine the existence of hazards, and/or;
b. Failure to eliminate and/or modify the hazard(s) which caused Plaintiff to suffer his accident, and/or;
c. Failure to use adequately slip resistant surfaces in and/or around the area where Plaintiff slipped, and/or;
d. Failure to use adequate hand-grips/hand-holds in and around the area where Plaintiff fell, and/or;
e. Failure to utilize a padded surface in the area of Plaintiff’s fall, and/or;
f. Failure to recognize the inherent dangers of creating wet conditions on the climbing surface in the spray park and to correct the existence of these dangers, and/or;
g. Failure to take adequate precautions so that the subject spray park would not injure cruise passengers such as Plaintiff, and/or;
h. Failure to instruct passengers, such as Plaintiff, on the reasonably safe use of the subject spray park, and/or;
i. Failure to warn passengers, such as Plaintiff, of the dangers that existed in the spray park, and/or;
j. Failure to maintain reasonably safe conditions in the spray park, and/or;
k. Failure to staff the spray park with adequate crewmembers to ensure that passengers are not injured while using the spray park, and/or;
l. Failure to ensure that the spray park was not overcrowded so that its use by passengers became unreasonably hazardous, and/or;
m. Failure to adequately maintain the subject spray park to ensure that a hazardous condition did not exist, and/or;
n. Failure to promulgate and/or enforce rules, regulations, polices and/or procedures aimed at ensuring the reasonably safe use and/or maintenance of the spray park, and/or;
o. Failure to correct, eliminate and/or modify the hazards which caused Plaintiff’s accident, and/or;
p. Failure to ascertain the cause of prior similar accidents occurring on any of the Defendant’s vessels with substantially similar spray parks, fleet wide, so as to take adequate measures to prevent their reoccurrence, and more particularly Plaintiff’s accident, and/or;
q. Cleaning, treating, repairing, maintaining, working on, polishing, refinishing, buffing, and/or waxing the subject spray park in such a way, and/or using certain materials, so as to render the steps and climbing area unreasonably slippery and dangerous for cruise passengers such as Plaintiff.

All of which proximately caused and/or contributed to the Plaintiff becoming injured when he slipped and fell onboard the M/V SPLENDOR.

13. At all times material hereto, Carnival had exclusive custody and control of the M/V SPLENDOR.

14. At all times material hereto, Carnival violated the International Safety Management Code’s goals and intent and failed to properly, adequately and safely implement the International Safety Management Code, and by extension, its own SQM Manual.

15. At all times material hereto, Carnival failed to have an adequate Safety Management System Manual aboard the M/V SPLENDOR, and/or failed to properly implement the Safety Management System Manual aboard the M/V SPLENDOR.

16. As a result, all of the above proximately caused and/or contributed to the Plaintiff being injured when he slipped and fell onboard the Defendant’s vessel, M/V SPLENDOR.

17. Carnival knew of the foregoing conditions causing Plaintiff’s accident and did not correct them, or the conditions existed for a sufficient length of time so that Carnival, in the exercise of reasonable care under the circumstances, should have learned of the conditions and corrected them.

18. As a result of the negligence of Carnival, the Plaintiff was injured about Plaintiff’s head, body and extremities, suffered physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, disfigurement, physical handicap, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and/or nervous disorders, suffered the aggravation of any previously existing conditions and incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of Plaintiff’s injuries. The Plaintiff also lost earnings and lost earning capacity both past and future as well as losing the benefit of Plaintiff’s entire vacation, cruise and transportation costs. Further, the injuries resulting from his accident are permanent or continuing in nature and Plaintiff will suffer these losses and impairment into the future.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff demands judgment for all damages recoverable under the law against Carnival and demands trial by jury.

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

By: /s/ Eric C. Morales
ERIC CHARLES MORALES
FLA. BAR NO.: 91875

Dated: January 7, 2014