Cruise ship slip and fall accidents happen all too often. That is especially so on the vessel Carnival Breeze. The “Breeze” had it’s maiden voyage in June 2012 making it a relatively new ship in the Carnival fleet and is one of Carnival’s largest passenger ships. It is part of the “Dream” Class, and holds roughly 3,900 passengers and 900 crew members. Slip and fall accidents inside lido market place restaurant seem to happen so frequently some wonder, should the largest cruise line in the wold take the ship out of service? The lido market place on the Breeze is located on deck 10. What you may not know is that the Lido market place restaurant is notorious for slip and fall accidents, many of which result in serious injuries. Slip and falls happen in the Lido on the Breeze can happen even when the floors appear dry and without any warning and at any time. The cruise ship injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have represented numerous passengers injured inside the Lido market place. Slip and fall accidents happen with such regularity on this particular vessel that it heightened attention within Carnival shortly after the vessel was placed into service in June 2012. Testing of the tile floor surfaces inside the Lido have proven they have inadequate and poor slip resistance properties and are even known to be defective are dangerous. The end result, dozens upon dozens of slip and fall accidents with serious injuries. Despite actual knowledge of the dangers in the Lido market place, Carnival doesn’t warn its passengers about the dangers that the tile floor surfaces pose and which they know.
Due to the number and nature of slip and fall accidents that occur on an almost regular basis and the failure of Carnival to find a permanent solution to the problem legal claims for punitive damages are not out of question for thse cruise ship accident and injury victims. Generally speaking, punitive damages are uncommon in slip and fall accident lawsuits. That is because the legal standard for punitive damages under federal maritime law requires a much higher burden to meet and more difficult to prove in the court room. Injury victims must prove conduct of that is either intentional harm, “gross negligence” or concious disregard for the life and safety of others. But, lido makret place slip and fall accidents on the Carnival Breeze occurr so frequently that they are warranted on this particular ship says, maritime attorney Nicholas I. Gerson with Gerson & Schwartz, PA. Why doesn’t Carnival just repair or replace the tile floor surfaces? According to Gerson, it’s really more of a business decision. “Profits over safety”, What else? As far as the Breeze is concerned, money and the financial implications of taking a huge passenger ship out of service would be very costly. This is one of Carnival’s premier money makers. The Breeze departs nearly every week. It holds the most passengers of all Carnival’s 24 ships and doesn’t’ travel all that far, nor are the trips very long.
At a minimum, the Breeze would likely have to be out of service for anywhere from two weeks to a month, maybe longer. When you calculate the amount of money that Carnival would have to forfeit, return, or lose, it appears that it makes more business sense for them to just wait until the ship goes into dry dock. The Breeze is not scheduled to go into dry dock until sometime in late 2017. In the latest lawsuit filed against Carnival regarding the Breeze, punitive damages have been included in two lawsuites filed. Carnival has already moved to dismiss the punitive damages claims early on in the law suit process . Their motion was rightfully denied. In other words, the presiding United States District Court judge believed that based on the allegations in the complaint and combination of the applicable federal law, the claims for punitive damages should be decided on the merits.
Historically, punitive damages in federal maritime cases were not always viable until the United States Supreme Court decided Atlantic Sounding Co, Inc, v. Townsend, 557 U.S. 404 (2009). Prior to Atlantic Sounding, lower federal court’s including the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that punitive damages under federal maritime law were not available based on martime law. But Atlantic Sounding changed that. Post Atlantic Sounding, lower federal courts including the Southern District of Florida, have consistently held that punitive damages are recoverable under federal maritime law, for gross negligence, or if there is reckless disregard for the life and safety of others. Intentional harmful conduct is not the only legal basis under which punitive are warranted. As far as the Carnival Breeze Lido market place slip and falls, Gerson adds that Carnival has known about the dangers of the lido market place and the defective tile floor surfaces that the decision to not repair the floors is intentional because the reccomendation to repair the floors have been denied by senior management. If you were injured in a cruise ship slip & fall accident, including on the Carnival Breeze the Miami injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to help. For more information about a lido market place slip and fall or any other injury on a cruise ship call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.