When designing a vessel as complex as a cruise ship, engineers and other designers must take every aspect of the ship's potential hazards into account. Especially as it relates to those areas that passengers will use, a good design will limit and even eliminate possible sources of danger. Cruise companies still have a lot to learn about this principle.
Over the years countless people have contacted us at Hickey Law Firm, P.A., telling us their stories of how they were injured due to cruise line negligence. In the passage below, we present you an excerpt of a complaint that we filed on behalf of an Oceania Cruises passenger who was injured in the tennis area of the cruise ship Marina.
"[O]n the day of this incident, Oceania’s crew members chose not to properly inspect, clean and/or maintain the open decks in a clean and dry condition. Oceania failed to find wet areas and water accumulations on the floor including Marina’s paddle tennis court. Oceania failed to squeegee, mop, towel, or otherwise clean the area of water for hours. The failure to clean the water caused water to accumulate and puddle. The crew chose not to or neglected to place any warning cones and/or wet floor signs in the area.
On July 9, 2019, Oceania provided the open deck paddle tennis court to its passengers. Oceania planned, organized and/or anticipated that passengers would play games such as pickleball, in the area. Oceania assigned two crew members to monitor passengers and provide passengers, such as Gail Kaden, equipment to play on Oceania’s deck. These two crew members were also required by Oceania to inspect, warn and make the area safe for passengers, such as [The Plaintiff] to play games on the paddle tennis court flooring. [The Plaintiff] entered the netted off area to play and started playing pickleball with her family. During the game [The Plaintiff] went to get the ball and slipped and fell in a large accumulation of water that blended with the flooring.
After slipping and falling [The Plaintiff] and her family realized she was sitting in a large accumulation of water and her clothes and body were wet. [The Plaintiff] and her family looked around to determine if they could detect any sources of water. [The Plaintiff] and her family discovered at least one source of water which came from a structure on the ship. This steel structure appeared to have what looked like numerous large air intake and exhaust vents and/or ducts. Oceania’s vents and/or ducts slowly leaked and/or dripped water. The slow drip and/or leak developed a trail of water which developed and led to the large puddle which caused [The Plaintiff] to fall. Oceania’s vent and/or duct dripped water into the trail of water in a slow, continuous rate which caused the puddle and trail of water to develop over the course of many hours.
Oceania allowed the large puddle of water to accumulate and remain on the floor for hours. As a result of the cruise line’s negligence the Plaintiff suffered severe, debilitating, and permanent injuries including but not limited to a subchondral fracture in the lateral femoral condyle and a complex meniscus tear in [The Plaintiff's] right knee. [The Plaintiff's] injuries also caused her to significantly aggravate and accelerate her osteoarthritis in her left knee from favoring her right leg and altering her gait."