A jury in a U.S. District Court in Seattle recently awarded an Illinois man $21 million in damages resulting from an injury to his head after being struck by an automatic sliding door on the Holland America ship.
James Hausman was injured when the sliding doors on the M/S Amerstadam he was exiting through, quickly closed on him, forcefully impacting his head.
The result? Minor brain injury with ongoing issues with vertigo, seizures and other medical issues.
Cruise ships can be dangerous places
It’s unfortunate, but with over 20 million people traveling on cruise ships each year, people are bound to be injured from a variety of accidents, incidents and mishaps.
And while the vast majority of cruise ship passengers will have a lovely time on their vacation, a small percentage of people will go home from their vacation with life-altering injuries — back problems, severe head injuries, internal bleeding, broken bones or other medical issues that may have worsened because of lack of care while on the ship.
Some injuries are simply accidents, others the cause of negligence
Most injuries that happen on a cruise are simply due to ‘sheer accident’ — and are subject to legal claims against the cruise line. Someone might trip entering an elevator or fall down during heavy seas. You can imagine the possibilities.
But some injuries to passengers (and crew) are the result of negligence — i.e. the cruise line knew their was an issue, but did not address the issue and because of that, someone was injured.
An example might be the above scenario with the sliding doors. Testimony withing the trial showed that Holland America was aware there was an issue with faulty motion sensors (or that the senors were adjusted to close more quickly than normal).
Another example could be torn carpeting on staircases that were reported but not addressed. Wet areas on restaurant floors that had been mopped, but not yellow warning signs not put out.
Injuries can happen in many ways
At our cruise ship injury law firm, we’re contacted by passengers and crew members each week about their injuries. They have questions about what to do after an injury and what legal rights they have.
As you can well imagine, after 24 years of representing hurt cruise passengers, we’ve heard just about everything. But even we’re still surprised.
Some of those inquiries included accidents because of:
- An errant golf ball that struck a passenger
- Standing water on a basketball court that resulted in a broken leg
- Cave-in of a passenger cabin from equipment from the floor above
- Smoke ventilating into a passenger cabin
- Loss of finger tips after shore excursion accident
- Bacterial meningitis
- Fell over the raised metal and carpet that is in the hallway between rooms
*The list goes on and on. And with dozens of cruise ship injury law firms in Florida, the variety of injuries is almost overwhelming.
Questions about cruise ship accidents or injuries?
If you have a specific question or are unsure about your legal rights as a cruise ship passenger, you should reach out to a cruise ship injury law firm like Waks and Barnett, P.A. Our contact information is at the top right hand side of this page. You can use 800-905-2891 for calling our firm or the contact form for emailing us.