Jane Doe v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A - Maritime Lawyer

August 12, 2014

Jane Doe v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd.

Complaint

Injuries aboard cruise ships happen in all kinds of ways. In this complaint filed by one of our experienced cruise ship lawyers, a female passenger was injured when a bunk bed fell on top of her head. On many ships, the bunk beds fold up and into the wall when the bed is not in use. In this case, one of these folding beds fell from the wall and struck the Plaintiff in the head, causing her serious injury. Our lawyers sued Norwegian Cruise Lines because the latch that was supposed to hold the bunk bed in place was not installed by the crew of the ship

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MIAMI DIVISION
CASE NO.
JANE DOE,
Plaintiff,

v.

NCL (BAHAMAS) LTD.,
A Bermuda Company
Defendant.

__________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff sues Defendant and alleges:

PRELIMINARY ALLEGATIONS

1. Plaintiff is a citizen of Ontario, Canada.

2. Defendant, NCL (BAHAMAS) LTD, a Bermuda Company (hereinafter “NCL”), is incorporated in a foreign state and has its principal place of business in Miami, Florida.

3. The matter in controversy exceeds, exclusive of interest and costs, the sum specified by 28 U.S.C. 1332.

4. In the event this matter does not come under diversity jurisdiction of the court, then this matter is being brought under the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the court.

5.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 county or had an office and/or agency in this state and/or county;
b. Was engaged in substantial activity within this state; and/or
c. Operated vessels in the waters of this state; and/or
d. Committed one or more of the acts stated in Florida Statutes, §§ 48.081, 48.181 or 48.193; and/or
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 was engaged in the business of providing to the public, and to the Plaintiff in particular, for compensation, vacation cruises aboard its vessel.

6. Defendant NCL is subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of this state.

7. The causes of action asserted in this Complaint arise under the General Maritime Law of the United States.

8. At all times material hereto, Defendant NCL owned, operated, managed, maintained and/or controlled the vessel Norwegian Dawn.

9.On or about August 17, 2013, Plaintiff was a paying passenger on Defendant’s vessel, which was in navigable waters.

COUNT I – NEGLIGENCE

10. Plaintiff realleges, adopts, and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs one through nine as though alleged originally herein, and further alleges:

11. It was the duty of Defendant to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.

12. On or about August 17, 2013, Defendant and/or its agents, servants, and/or employees breached its duty to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.

13. On or about the above mentioned date, Plaintiff was injured while aboard the vessel as follows: While Plaintiff was sitting on her bed in her cabin, the recessed bunk bed mounted on the wall fell on Plaintiff’s head, causing Plaintiff serious injury.

14. Plaintiff’s injury was due to the fault and/or negligence of Defendant, and/or its agents, servants and/or employees as follows:
a. Failing to properly maintain and/or inspect the bunk beds in Plaintiff’s cabin so as to ensure that they remained in a reasonably safe condition, and/or;
b. Allowing a broken bunk bed to remain in Plaintiff’s cabin, and/or;
c. Allowing broken bunk beds to remain in multiple passenger cabins, which injured several passengers, and/or;
d. Failing to warn the Plaintiff of the dangers caused by the broken bunk bed, and/or;
e. Failure to secure the broken bunk bed so as to prevent it from falling and injuring a passenger, and/or;
f. Failing to adequately inspect and/or maintain passenger cabins, and/or;
g. Failing to have adequate bunk beds that would not degrade so as to create an unreasonably dangerous condition, and/or;
h. Failure to install a safety latch designed for the purpose of preventing a bunk bed from falling when not in use, and/or;
i. Failure to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and/or procedures to ensure the bunk beds in passenger cabins remained free from any dangerous conditions, and/or;
j. Failure to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and/or procedures to ensure that broken bunk beds are removed, repaired, or replaced, and/or;
k. Failing to install safety latches in bunks after dry-docking the vessel, and/or;
l. Knowing from previous similar incidents of the danger posed by the broken bunk beds, yet failing to warn passengers or correct this problem, and/or;
m. Failure to have adequate risk management procedures in place designed to reduce the occurrence of the type of accident suffered by the Plaintiff , and/or;
n. Failure to utilize well known standards of industrial ergonomics to reduce the risk of and/or prevent the type of accident suffered by the Plaintiff, and/or;
o. Failure to ascertain the cause of substantially similar prior accidents which occurred on the same and other vessels in the Defendant’s fleet so as to take the necessary measures to prevent their re-occurrence, and more particularly Plaintiff’s accident, as the ISM Code and the Defendant’s Ship’s Quality Management Manual or its equivalent namesake requires the Defendant to do;

All of which caused the Plaintiff to be injured.

15. At all times material hereto, Defendant had exclusive custody and control of the vessel.

16. At all times material hereto, Defendant negligently failed to investigate and/or determine the hazards on the vessel to Plaintiff, failed to eliminate the hazards, failed to modify and/or minimize the hazard and failed to properly warn Plaintiff of the hazard. In addition, Defendant violated the International Safety Management Code and failed to have a proper, adequate and safe Safety Management System Manual. All the above caused the Plaintiff to be injured.

17. The Defendant 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 Defendant in the exercise of reasonable care under the circumstances should have learned of them and corrected them.

18. As a result of the negligence of Defendant, the Plaintiff was injured about her body and extremities, suffered severe physical pain, mental and emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, physical disability, impairment, inconvenience in the normal pursuits of life, disfigurement and other mental and/or nervous disorders. Plaintiff suffered aggravation of any previously existing conditions therefrom, incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of her injuries and suffered physical handicap. Further, the Plaintiff suffered lost wages past and present as well as lost earning capacity. The injuries and damages are permanent or continuing in nature and Plaintiff will suffer the losses and impairments in the future. In addition, Plaintiff lost the benefit of her vacation cruise for which she incurred expenses, including, but not limited to the cost of the cruise ticket for herself and others as well as transportation costs.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for all damages recoverable under the law against the Defendant 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
FLORIDA BAR #91875

Dated: August 12, 2014