Orlando Court Refuses to Dismiss Couple’s Negligence Lawsuit Against Cruise Ship Owner

file1341281900823 morguefile username hotblackIn Shore v. Magical Cruise Co., Ltd., a couple set sail on a themed cruise ship. While aboard the vessel, the wife apparently suffered a staphylococcal infection following a treatment in the ship’s spa. In addition, the husband allegedly became ill as well. After the couple returned from their cruise, they filed a negligence, strict liability, and loss of consortium lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against the owner of the cruise ship and the operator of the spa where the wife was purportedly injured.

In response to the couple’s lawsuit, the defendants argued that the couple failed to plead sufficient facts to support a negligence lawsuit. Specifically, the defendants claimed the couple failed to allege they had a duty to warn the woman or that they breached their duty. Normally, in order to demonstrate negligence, a plaintiff must assert the at-fault party owed the plaintiff a duty, the at-fault party breached that duty, the plaintiff was injured as a result of that breach, and the plaintiff suffered damages. The federal court disagreed with the defendants and stated the allegations included in the couple’s complaint were sufficient to state a negligence claim.

Next, the Orlando court addressed the defendants’ assertion that the couple failed to sufficiently state a claim for strict liability in their pleadings. Since the plaintiffs neglected to allege the defendants manufactured or sold the product that allegedly injured the wife, the court dismissed the couple’s strict liability cause of action.

The court then examined the defendants’ argument that the couple’s loss of consortium claim was barred because general maritime law does not recognize such a cause of action. After stating federal maritime law governed the substantive issues in the couple’s lawsuit because their alleged injury occurred on navigable waters, the court addressed the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The Middle District of Florida examined the relevant case law and statutes before holding that the law was not settled on the matter. According to the court, further discovery on the issue was warranted before the couple’s loss of consortium claim could be dismissed.

In the end, the Middle District of Florida in Orlando denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the couple’s negligence claim. In addition, the federal court dismissed the plaintiffs’ strict liability cause of action and held the couple’s loss of consortium claim may be addressed again in the future following further discovery.

If you were hurt on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to collect financial compensation for your harm. The experienced Miami personal injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. may be able to help. To discuss your personal injury case with a hardworking cruise ship injury lawyer, do not hesitate to contact Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. through our website or give us a call today at (305) 448-8585.

Additional Resources:

Shore v. Magical Cruise Co., Ltd., Dist. Court, MD Florida 2014

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