September 26, 2012
Jane Doe v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. – Part 1
Passengers injured at sea should take great care to preserve evidence regading the facts of their injury. In this case, a passenger was injured when a railing she leaned on gave way in the theater onboard Royal Caribbean’s ship. This passenger spoke with witnesses to the accident and found out that the broken railing had been reported to the ship’s maintenance personnel the day before, but it was not fixed.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES, LTD,
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff sues Defendant and alleges:
1. Plaintiff is a resident of the state of Pennsylvania and defendant is a corporation incorporated under the laws of Liberia having its principal place of business in Florida. 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, then this matter is being brought under the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the court.
2. 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;
c. Operated vessels in the waters of this state;
d. Committed one or more of the acts stated in Florida Statutes, Sections 48.081, 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 was engaged in the business of providing to the public and to the Plaintiff, for compensation, vacation cruises aboard their vessel.
3. Defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of this state.
4. The causes of action asserted in this Complaint arise under the General Maritime Law of the United States.
5. At all times material hereto, Defendant owned, operated, managed, maintained and/or controlled the vessel Explorer of the Seas.
6. On or about March 14, 2012, Plaintiff was a paying passenger on Defendant’s vessel, which was in navigable water. Defendant is in possession of a copy of Plaintiff’s passenger ticket contract.
Plaintiff adopts, re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs one through six as though originally alleged herein.
7. It was the duty of Defendant, ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES, LTD., to provide Plaintiff with reasonable care under the circumstances.
8. On or about March 14, 2012 as a result of the failure of the Defendant, its agents, servants, and/or employees to fulfill its duty of reasonable care under the circumstances owed to the Plaintiff, Plaintiff suffered personal injury when she leaned on a railing onboard Defendant’s vessel that gave way causing her to fall.
9. Defendant failed in its duty to provide reasonable care under the circumstances to the Plaintiff by:
a. Failing to properly construct and/or maintain the railing that gave way in the subject area, and/or;
b. Failing to timely repair the broken railing in the subject area, despite having notice of the defect, so as to prevent passengers from being injured when traveling in the area, and/or;
c. Failing to close off the passageway with the defective railing so as to prevent passengers from using the railing with the hidden defect and becoming injured, and/or;
d. Failing to put up adequate signs, cones, or caution tape warning Plaintiff of the dangerous condition in and around the area where she suffered her accident, and/or;
e. Failing to promulgate and/or enforce adequate policies and procedures to ensure the railings in the area where Plaintiff suffered her accident were free from any dangerous conditions/defects, and/or;
f. Failing to have an adequate maintenance schedule in place in order to detect and correct any defects that would create a dangerous condition with regard to the railings in the area where Plaintiff suffered her accident, and/or;
g. Failing to have proper and adequate lighting in the area of Plaintiff’s accident, and/or;
h. Knowing from prior similar incidents/accidents that the railing in the area of the Plaintiff’s incident was in disrepair and/or was not properly maintained and failing to correct this problem, and/or;
i. Leaving a broken railing in the subject area in disrepair without any warning despite having knowledge of this defect which was previously reported to the Defendant.
All of which caused the Plaintiff to be injured.
10. At all material times, Defendant had exclusive custody and control of the Explorer of the Seas.
11. At all times material hereto, Defendant negligently failed to determine the hazards on the vessel to Plaintiff, failed to eliminate the hazards, failed to modify the hazards and failed to properly warn Plaintiff of the hazards. In addition, Defendant violated the International Safety Management Code and failed to have a proper, adequate and safe Safety Management System Manual (SQM) and/or failed to follower their SQM manual. All the above caused the Plaintiff to be injured.
12. 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.
13. As a result of the negligence of the Defendant, the Plaintiff was injured about Plaintiff’s body and extremities, including severe physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, physical disability, impairment, inconvenience in the normal pursuits and pleasures of life, feeling of economic insecurity, disfigurement, aggravation of any previously existing conditions therefrom, incurred medical expenses in the care and treatment of his injuries including life care, incurred special transportation costs after being discharged from the vessel and suffered physical handicap. The injuries and damages are permanent or continuing in nature, and Plaintiff will suffer the losses and impairments in the future. Further, Plaintiff lost the value 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, the Plaintiff demands judgment for all damages recoverable under the law against the Defendants and demands jury trial of all issues so triable.
ALSINA & WINKLEMAN, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
Suite 1776, One Biscayne Tower
Miami, Florida 33131
Telephone: (305) 373-3016
Fax: (305) 373-6204
By: Eric C. Morales_______
ERIC CHARLES MORALES
WHEREFOFFFLORIDA BAR NO. 91875
Date: September 26, 2012