Anyone who has been in a cruise ship stateroom is likely familiar with the way stateroom bunk beds are arranged. The top bed may be parallel to the bottom bed or perpendicular to it, but the top bunk is always accessed by a ladder of some type. When not properly maintained these ladders can be dangerous as falls from the ladders can cause serious injuries. For this reason, it is important that cruise companies warn passengers of the dangers associated with the ladders.
In the passage below, you will read an excerpt of a lawsuit that Hickey Law Firm, P.A. filed on behalf of a client who was injured in a fall from a cruise ship ladder.
"[O]n the day of the incident, NCL’s crew members failed to inspect, maintain, adjust, secure, and/or make the bunk bed ladder safe for former passenger, [The Plaintiff]. NCL and/or NCL’s passengers also failed to reasonably warn its passengers, including Ms. Patterson that NCL’s bunk bed ladders can dangerous and/or a hazardous condition that can cause passengers to lose balance, fall and get injured if they are not properly secured, stabilized and/or affixed to NCL’s bunk beds. NCL knows that passengers cannot see and/or may not anticipate that crew members may fail to properly secure bunk bed ladders inside passenger cabins. Therefore, NCL knows it must warn its passengers that its ladders may not be secure, properly affixed and/or unstable and cause passengers to fall and get injured.
In this case, NCL’s crew member(s) or other cruise line personnel positioned the bunk bed ladder in the cabin assigned to this passenger, [The Plaintiff], in such a way that the ladder was not properly secured. It was not open and obvious and/or apparent that the cruise line’s crew member failed to properly inspect, maintain, adjust, secure, and/or make the bunkbed ladder safe for [The Plaintiff's] use. Accordingly, when [The Plaintiff] climbed up the ladder, the ladder came dislodged and/or suddenly shifted and [The Plaintiff] fell to the ground. Prior to using NCL’s ladder, NCL did not warn [The Plaintiff] that the bunk bed ladder was dangerous and/or a dangerous condition. The cruise line’s failure to properly and reasonably warn, inspect, maintain, adjust, secure, and/or make the bunk bed ladder safe caused [The Plaintiff] to crash down onto the floor directly onto her left wrist and hip. As a direct result of the cruise line’s negligence, [The Plaintiff] sustained severe, debilitating, and permanent injuries including but not limited to a comminuted intra-articular left distal radius with a volar displacement with significant comminution of the volar cortex and aggravated hip injury.
To repair her wrist, [The Plaintiff] underwent surgery during which her surgeon performed an open reduction with internal fixation. During surgery [The Plaintiff's] treating surgeon implanted a volar plate and screws. Afterwards [The Plaintiff] went to physical therapy to post-operatively repair her wrist. Additionally, [The Plaintiff's] fall aggravated her hip which required a hip replacement in 2017."