Continuing with yesterday's theme of faulty cruise ship design, today we look at the case of a poorly designed cruise ship arcade which employs glass that is difficult for passengers to see. Entrances of this type can present a significant hazard to passengers because, without proper warning, people can walk directly into the glass at full stride and injure themselves. This is exactly what happened to the plaintiff in the case below. Hickey Law Firm, P.A. filed a lawsuit against MSC Cruises on behalf of the plaintiff after he suffered significant facial injures after walking into a hazardous glass entryway.
"The subject dangerous glass door/doorway, which minor, J.P, encountered on July 24, 2019, was located at one of the entrances to the MSC game room/arcade. MSC CRUISES designed--or participated and approved of the design—of this particular glass doorway as well as the arcade/game room. MSC CRUISES knew or should have known that such features like the game room would be attractive to young children, including J.P. Based upon information and belief, unmarked or poorly marked glass, had caused passenger complaints and incidents resulting in injuries prior to July 24, 2019 on MSC cruise vessels, including on MSC Seaside. In fact, MSC CRUISES knew this specific doorway which led into the arcade/game room caused passengers to run into the glass because of the difficulty perceiving the presence of glass. Just after the incident, an MSC CRUISES crewmember told the plaintiff, that there was normally a yellow warning sign present in front of the subject glass to make the doorway more visible and to warn passengers of the danger of running into the glass. This crewmember said that passengers running into the subject glass was a repetitive problem at the arcade area before J.P.’s incident. Another crewmember, a cleaner, remarked to Plaintiff after learning of J.P.’s incident that, “Oh, the sign wasn’t there.”
Despite this prior knowledge, MSC CRUISES failed to have the usual warning sign in place at the time of J.P,’s incident on July 24, 2019. MSC CRUISES failed to design a safe doorway with enough contrast, warnings, or markings to denote the presence of a glass door. And MSC CRUISES continued to maintain this glass door hazard at the entrance to the arcade/game room for the entire duration of its operation of the MSC Seaside from the vessel's first sailing up and through the sailing when this incident occurred on July 24, 2019 . Thus, MSC CRUISES had ample opportunity, well over a year since operation of Seaside first began, to discover this hazard and make corrections to the glass doorway and/or properly warn passengers of the danger.
During this period before J.P.’s incident, MSC failed to warn and failed to act reasonably to correct the condition of its doorway leading to the game room. MSC CRUISES did not put up visibility tape, signs, ropes, and/or other markings so that the doorway would be visible on the date of J.P.’s incident. MSC CRUISES failed to take appropriate action despite its actual or constructive knowledge that the game room would attract minors like J.P. and that the subject doorway did not comply with industry standards and guidelines which govern the doorway in question.
Due to its failures to maintain the doorway in a safe condition and warn minor, J.P., MSC CRUISES caused J.P to crash into the glass doorway leading to the game room/arcade as he attempted to enter the game room on July 24, 2019. J.P. could not objectively perceive the presence of the glass because of the lack of signs or contrast in the glass which created the illusion that there was no doorway there at all. MSC CRUISES did not have the yellow warning sign up in front of the glass doorway at the time of J.P.’s incident, the sign which MSC CRUISES usually and habitually placed in front of the glass to warn passengers about the dangerous condition of the glass doorway. MSC’s failures to warn, maintain, and/or manage the glass door/doorway near the arcade caused J.P.’s collision with the glass as well as his injuries.
Due to the cruise line’s negligence, J.P. suffered serious injury to his mouth and teeth, including a laceration to his lip and fractures to three of his front teeth. But for MSC’s failures to provide a warning, signs, sufficient decals, lighting, and/or other means of maintaining a proper visual contrast at the door, minor, J.P., would have seen the door and avoided injury. As a result of his injuries, J.P. has required special dental care and had to have his teeth bonded. J.P. cannot bite down on hard food and will require future dental care in order to keep his teeth in a functional condition."