Jane Doe v. Celebrity Cruises, Tura Turizm, and XYZ Corporation

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

August 17, 2012

Jane Doe v. Celebrity Cruises, Tura Turizm, and XYZ Corporation

Complaint

Injuries can happen in a number of different ways, both on and off a cruise ship. In this complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida, a passenger was injured on a tour bus while on a shore excursion in Turkey. Many times injured persons are daunted by the prospect of pursuing an overseas Defendant, but our experienced maritime attorneys can help. Whether your injury happened on or off the ship, our attorneys can protect your rights and pursue your case all the way through trial.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MIAMI DIVISION
CASE NO.
Jane Doe,
Plaintiff,

v.

CELEBRITY CRUISES INC.,
TURA TURIZM, and
XYZ CORPORATION(S),
Defendants.

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff hereby sues Defendants and alleges as follows:

JURISDICTIONAL AND PRELIMINARY ALLEGATIONS

1.Plaintiff, Jane Doe (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) is a citizen of Florida.
2.Defendant, CELEBRITY CRUISES INC. (hereinafter “CCI”), is a foreign entity with its principal place of business in Florida.
3.Defendant, TURA TURIZM, upon information and belief is a business entity registered in Turkey and doing business in Miami, Florida.
4.Defendant, XYZ CORPORATION(S), is included to represent the owner(s) and/or operator(s) of the subject excursion, insofar as such entity has a different name than the named Defendants herein. According to CCI, the “tour operator” of the subject excursion is TURA TURIZM. XYZ CORPORATION(S) is (are) included in the event that discovery reveals any other entities are involved. XYZ CORPORATION(S) is (are) also used in a plural form. In the event that discovery reveals that additional entities, other than the named Defendants herein, contributed to the ownership, operation, and/or management of the subject excursion, the legal names of the entities will be substituted for XYZ CORPORATION(S).
5.This matter is being filed pursuant to CCI’s federal forum selection clause within its passenger ticket and, because there is no diversity among the parties, is brought under the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the Court. A jury is requested.
6.At all times material hereto, all Defendants, personally or through an agent:
a.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;
b.Were engaged in substantial activity within this state;
c.Operated vessels in the waters of this state;
d.Committed one or more of the acts stated in Florida Statutes, §§ 48.081, 48.181 and/or 48.193;
e.The acts of Defendants set out in this Complaint occurred in whole or in part in this county and/or state.
f.The Defendant, CCI, was engaged in the business of providing to the public and to the Plaintiff in particular, for compensation, vacation cruises aboard the vessel, the Celebrity Equinox.
7.Defendants are subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of this State.
8.The causes of action asserted in this Complaint arise under the General Maritime Law of the United States.
9.At all times material hereto, CCI owned, operated, managed, maintained and/or controlled the vessel, the Celebrity Equinox.
10.At all times material hereto, Defendants, TURA TURIZM and/or XYZ CORPORATION(S) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the Excursion Entities” in a manner so as to retain each Defendant’s separate and individual liability in the event said Defendants are severed) owned and/or operated the subject excursion, “Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul – IB92”, which was offered, arranged for, sponsored, recommended, marketed, sold, co-operated and/or managed by CCI.
11.The Excursion Entities are believed to have entered into a contract with CCI for the protection of CCI’s passengers, whereby the Excursion Entities agreed to subject themselves to the laws and jurisdiction of the State of Florida, consented to personal jurisdiction over themselves, and consented to the venue of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Excursion Entities are believed to have also agreed to indemnify CCI for the claims made in this Complaint within the meaning of Florida Statute § 48.193(d). Furthermore, the Excursion Entities are subject to the jurisdiction of this Court because they maintain an office and sell shore excursion tickets in Miami, Florida and/or sell shore excursion tickets through CCI’s website which is administered in Florida.

FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS

12.On or about September 3, 2011, Plaintiff was a paying passenger aboard the Celebrity Equinox which was in navigable waters.
13.At all times material hereto, excursions from the Celebrity Equinox were advertised to passengers and the Plaintiff in CCI’s website and CCI’s promotional material, including, but not limited to, brochures which contained CCI’s logo.
14.At all times material hereto, CCI offered passengers aboard the Celebrity Equinox and the Plaintiff the opportunity to go on various shore excursions during the subject cruise, including, but not limited to, the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul shore excursion.
15.At all times material hereto, CCI had a shore excursion desk aboard the Celebrity Equinox for the purpose of, inter alia, providing CCI passengers recommendations regarding shore excursions and charging CCI passengers for shore excursions.
16.At all times material hereto, CCI sold tickets for the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul excursion to passengers aboard the Celebrity Equinox, including the Plaintiff, during the subject cruise.
17.At all times material hereto, despite request, CCI did not provide any information to Plaintiff with respect to the name, address, owner and/or operator of the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul excursion.
18.On or about September 3, 2011, as part of Plaintiff’s cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox, Plaintiff participated in the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul shore excursion in Istanbul. This excursion was arranged for, sponsored, recommended, operated, marketed, and/or sold by CCI as part of the voyage on the subject cruise.
19.On or about September 3, 2011, Plaintiff suffered severe and permanent injuries when she tripped and fell over a hidden downward step while boarding the bus for the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul shore excursion.
20.At all times material hereto, the Excursion Entities were the agent(s) and/or apparent agent(s) of CCI by virtue of the following, such that CCI is estopped from denying that CCI was the agent for the Excursion Entities:
a.CCI made all arrangements for the subject excursion without disclosing to Plaintiff that the subject excursion was being run by another entity (and/or entities); and/or
b.CCI marketed the subject excursion using its company logo on its website and/or in its brochures and/or on its ship without disclosing to Plaintiff that the subject excursion was being run by another entity (and/or entities); and/or
c.CCI maintained an excursion desk on its ship whereby it offered, sold, provided information to, and answered questions of passengers about the subject excursion without disclosing to Plaintiff that the subject excursion was being run by another entity (and/or entities); and/or
d.CCI recommended its passengers to not engage in excursions, tours and/or activities that are not sold through CCI; and/or
e.Until the point that Plaintiff actually participated in the subject excursion, the Plaintiff’s exclusive contact concerning the subject excursion was with CCI and/or CCI’s onboard excursion desk; and/or
f.The fee for the subject excursion was charged to the Plaintiff, and collected from the Plaintiff, exclusively by CCI; and/or
g.Plaintiff received a receipt exclusively from CCI for the purchase of the subject excursion.

21.At all times material hereto, Plaintiff relied on the above, to her detriment, so as to believe that the Excursion Entities were the employee(s) and/or agent(s) of CCI, in choosing the subject shore excursion. At no time did CCI represent to Plaintiff in particular, or the ship’s passengers in general, in a meaningful way that the Excursion Entities were not agent(s) and/or employee(s) of CCI.
22.At all times material hereto, CCI was the owner or co-owner of the subject excursion. At all times material hereto, CCI was responsible for, and liable for, the actions of the Excursion Entities with respect to the subject excursion.
23.In the alternative, at all times material hereto, a partnership and/or joint venture existed between the Excursion Entities by virtue of the following, whereby CCI and the Excursion Entities are jointly and severally responsible for the negligence of each other as partners of the partnership and/or joint venture:
a.CCI and the Excursion Entities entered into an agreement whereby: CCI made all arrangements for the Plaintiff, on behalf of the partnership with the Excursion Entities, for the subject excursion being run by the Excursion Entities; and/or
b.CCI marketed on CCI’s website and/or in its brochures and/or on its ship, on behalf of the partnership with the Excursion Entities, the subject excursion being run by the Excursion Entities; and/or
c.CCI maintained an excursion desk on its ship whereby it offered, sold, provided information to, and answered questions of passengers, on behalf of the partnership with the Excursion Entities, about the subject excursion being run by the Excursion Entities; and/or
d.The Excursion Entities provided the subject excursion boat to be used in the subject excursion; and/or
e.CCI determined the amount of money charged for the subject excursion being run by the Excursion Entities; and/or
f.CCI collected the amount of money charged for the subject excursion being run by the Excursion Entities; and/or
g.CCI paid the Excursion Entities a portion of the sales of tickets for the subject excursion after the subject excursion tickets were sold; and/or
h.CCI shared profits and losses with the Excursion Entities for the subject excursion.

24.At all times material hereto, CCI was an agent for the Excursion Entities in the United States.
25.At all times material hereto, CCI was a partner in the subject excursion.
26.At all times material hereto, CCI operated and/or supervised the subject excursion.
27.At all times material hereto, the Excursion Entities owned and operated the subject excursion. The Excursion Entities were involved in providing the subject excursion to Plaintiff. At all times material hereto, the Excursion Entities were the agent(s), apparent agent(s), joint venturer(s), servant(s), and/or employee(s) of CCI and at all times acted within the course and scope of their agency, apparent agency, joint venture, service and/or employment.

COUNT I – NEGLIGENCE AGAINST CCI

Plaintiff re-alleges, adopts, and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs one (1) through twenty-seven (27) as through alleged originally herein.

28.It was the duty of CCI to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.
29.On or about September 3, 2011, CCI and/or its agents, servants, joint venturers and/or employees breached its duty to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.
30.Plaintiff was injured due to the fault and/or negligence of CCI and/or its agents, servants, joint venturers and/or employees for acts and/or omissions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
a.Failure to provide a safe excursion; and/or
b.Failure to properly supervise and oversee the excursion marketed, advertised, offered and sold to its guests; and/or
c.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor excursion providers so as to ensure that the subject excursion was reasonably safe for cruise passengers and the Plaintiff; and/or
d.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the subject excursion so as to ensure that the transportation used in the subject excursion was reasonably safe for Plaintiff and cruise passengers; and/or
e.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the bus for the subject excursion so as to ensure that it was reasonably safe for cruise ship passengers; and/or
f.Failure to adequately mark the downward step in the bus so that it was readily apparent to Plaintiff and other cruise passengers participating in the subject shore excursion; and/or
g.Failure to require that the Excursion Entities adequately mark the downward step in the bus so that it was readily apparent to Plaintiff and other cruise passengers participating in the subject shore excursion; and/or
h.Failure to adequately warn the Plaintiff of the danger posed by the downward step in the bus used for the subject shore excursion; and/or
i.Failure to require that the Excursion Entities adequately warn the Plaintiff of the danger posed by the downward step in the bus used for the subject shore excursion; and/or
j.Failure to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures to ensure that participants of the subject shore excursion are warned about the danger posed by the downward step in the bus; and/or
k.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the policies and procedures of the Excursion Entities to ensure that participants of the subject shore excursion are warned about the danger posed by the downward step in the bus; and/or
l.Failure to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures to ensure that the transportation used for the subject shore excursion was reasonably safe for cruise ship passengers; and/or
m.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the policies and procedures of the Excursion Entities to ensure that the transportation used for the subject shore excursion was reasonably safe for cruise ship passengers; and/or
n.Failure to provide reasonably safe transportation for Plaintiff and other cruise passengers participating in the subject shore excursion; and/or
o.Failure to require the subject shore excursion to provide reasonably safe transportation for cruise ship passengers; and/or
p.Failure to adequately warn Plaintiff of the dangers of participating in the subject excursion; and/or
q.Failure to advise the Plaintiff and other cruise ship passengers that CCI does not inspect and/or maintain the transportation used for the subject shore excursion; and/or
r.Failure to advise the Plaintiff and other cruise ship passengers that CCI does not verify that the transportation used for the subject shore excursion is reasonably safe, inspected, and/or maintained; and/or
s.Failure to ensure that properly trained and supervised persons operated the subject excursion; and/or
t.Having a shore excursion that was not competently operated; and/or
u.Failure to require the Excursion Entities to provide proper emergency medical care; and/or
v.Failure to require the Excursion Entities to provide prompt and proper medical care; and/or
w.Failure to provide proper emergency medical care; and/or
x.Failure to provide prompt and proper medical care;

All of which caused the Plaintiff to trip and fall over a hidden downward step while boarding the bus for the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul shore excursion.

31.At all times material hereto, CCI had exclusive custody and control of the vessel, the Celebrity Equinox.
32.At all times material hereto, CCI negligently failed to determine the hazards that the excursion posed to Plaintiff, failed to eliminate the hazard, failed to modify the hazard and failed to properly warn Plaintiff of the hazard. In addition, CCI violated the International Safety Management Code and failed to have a proper, adequate and safe Safety Management System Manual. All of the above caused the Plaintiff to be injured.
33.CCI 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 CCI, in the exercise of reasonable care under the circumstances, should have learned of them and corrected them.
34.As a result of the negligence of CCI, the Plaintiff was injured about Plaintiff’s body and extremities, suffered physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, disfigurement, post traumatic stress disorder and other mental and/or nervous disorders, aggravation of any previously existing conditions therefrom, incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of Plaintiff’s injuries, suffered physical handicap, lost earnings and lost earning capacity both past and future. The injuries are permanent or continuing in nature and Plaintiff will suffer the losses and impairments in the future. In addition, Plaintiff lost the benefit of Plaintiff’s vacation, cruise, and transportation costs.

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

COUNT II – NEGLIGENCE AGAINST THE EXCURSION ENTITIES

Plaintiff re-alleges, adopts, and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs one (1) through twenty-seven (27) as through alleged originally herein.

35.At all times material hereto, the Excursion Entities owned and/or operated the subject excursion.
36.It was the duty of the Excursion Entities to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.
37.On or about September 3, 2011, the Excursion Entities and/or their agents, servants, joint venturers and/or employees breached their duty to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.
38.Plaintiff was injured due to the fault and/or negligence of the Excursion Entities and/or their agents, servants, joint venturers and/or employees for acts and/or omissions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
a.Failure to provide a safe excursion; and/or
b.Failure to properly supervise and oversee the excursion marketed, advertised, offered and sold to its guests; and/or
c.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor excursion providers so as to ensure that the subject excursion was reasonably safe for cruise passengers and the Plaintiff; and/or
d.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the subject excursion so as to ensure that the transportation used in the subject excursion was reasonably safe for Plaintiff and cruise passengers; and/or
e.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the bus for the subject excursion so as to ensure that it was reasonably safe for cruise ship passengers; and/or
f.Failure to adequately mark the downward step in the bus so that it was readily apparent to Plaintiff and other cruise passengers participating in the subject shore excursion; and/or
g.Failure to require that the Excursion Entities adequately mark the downward step in the bus so that it was readily apparent to Plaintiff and other cruise passengers participating in the subject shore excursion; and/or
h.Failure to adequately warn the Plaintiff of the danger posed by the downward step in the bus used for the subject shore excursion; and/or
i.Failure to require that the Excursion Entities adequately warn the Plaintiff of the danger posed by the downward step in the bus used for the subject shore excursion; and/or
j.Failure to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures to ensure that participants of the subject shore excursion are warned about the danger posed by the downward step in the bus; and/or
k.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the policies and procedures of the Excursion Entities to ensure that participants of the subject shore excursion are warned about the danger posed by the downward step in the bus; and/or
l.Failure to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures to ensure that the transportation used for the subject shore excursion was reasonably safe for cruise ship passengers; and/or
m.Failure to adequately inspect and/or routinely monitor the policies and procedures of the Excursion Entities to ensure that the transportation used for the subject shore excursion was reasonably safe for cruise ship passengers; and/or
n.Failure to provide reasonably safe transportation for Plaintiff and other cruise passengers participating in the subject shore excursion; and/or
o.Failure to require the subject shore excursion to provide reasonably safe transportation for cruise ship passengers; and/or
p.Failure to adequately warn Plaintiff of the dangers of participating in the subject excursion; and/or
q.Failure to advise the Plaintiff and other cruise ship passengers that CCI does not inspect and/or maintain the transportation used for the subject shore excursion; and/or
r.Failure to advise the Plaintiff and other cruise ship passengers that CCI does not verify that the transportation used for the subject shore excursion is reasonably safe, inspected, and/or maintained; and/or
s.Failure to ensure that properly trained and supervised persons operated the subject excursion; and/or
t.Having a shore excursion that was not competently operated; and/or
u.Failure to require the Excursion Entities to provide proper emergency medical care; and/or
v.Failure to require the Excursion Entities to provide prompt and proper medical care; and/or
w.Failure to provide proper emergency medical care; and/or
x.Failure to provide prompt and proper medical care;
All of which caused the Plaintiff to trip and fall over a hidden downward step while boarding the bus for the Colors, Scents and Trends of Istanbul shore excursion.

39.At all times material hereto, the Excursion Entities had exclusive custody and control of the subject excursion.
40.The Excursion Entities 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 the Excursion Entities, in the exercise of reasonable care under the circumstances, should have learned of them and corrected them.
41.As a result of the negligence of the Excursion Entities, the Plaintiff was injured about Plaintiff’s body and extremities, suffered physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, disfigurement, post traumatic stress disorder and other mental and/or nervous disorders, aggravation of any previously existing conditions therefrom, incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of Plaintiff’s injuries, suffered physical handicap, lost earnings and lost earning capacity both past and future. The injuries are permanent or continuing in nature and Plaintiff will suffer the losses and impairments in the future. In addition, Plaintiff lost the benefit of Plaintiff’s vacation, cruise, and transportation costs.

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

COUNT III – APPARENT AGENCY OR AGENCY BY ESTOPPEL CLAIM AGAINST CCI

Plaintiff re-alleges, adopts, and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs one (1) through twenty-seven (27) as through alleged originally herein.

42.At all times material hereto, the Excursion Entities were the apparent agent(s) of CCI.
43.At all times material hereto, CCI is estopped to deny that the Excursion Entities were their agent(s) or employee(s).
44.At all times material hereto, CCI made manifestations which caused Plaintiff to believe that the Excursion Entities had authority to act for the benefit of CCI. These manifestations included:
a.CCI allowed its name to be utilized in connection with the advertising of the Excursion Entities; and/or
b.CCI made all arrangements for the subject excursion without effectively disclosing to Plaintiff that the subject excursion was being run by another entity (and/or entities); and/or
c.CCI marketed the subject excursion using its company logo on its website and/or in its brochures and/or on its ship without effectively disclosing to Plaintiff that the subject excursion was being run by another entity (and/or entities); and/or
d.CCI maintained an excursion desk on its ship whereby it offered, sold, provided information to, and answered questions of passengers about the subject excursion without effectively disclosing to Plaintiff that the subject excursion was being run by another entity (and/or entities); and/or
e.Until the point that Plaintiff actually participated in the subject excursion, the Plaintiff’s exclusive contact concerning the subject excursion was with CCI; and/or
f.CCI recommended to Plaintiff to not engage in excursions, tours or activities that are not sold through CCI as CCI has no familiarity with other tours or their operations; and/or