Southern District of Florida Refuses to Dismiss Negligence Lawsuit Filed Against Cruise Ship Company

The Southern District of Florida has refused to dismiss a slip-and-fall case that was filed against a cruise ship company. In Young v. Carnival Corp., a woman filed a negligence lawsuit against the cruise line she traveled with in a Florida federal court. According to her complaint, the woman was injured when she slipped and fell on an unspecified substance while aboard a cruise ship. She also claimed that the cruise line breached its duty to protect her from being injured, and the company’s breach proximately caused her actual harm. In response to the woman’s lawsuit, the cruise company filed a motion to dismiss the woman’s case.

According to the cruise ship operator, the woman failed to plead the elements necessary to establish the company was negligent. In a federal lawsuit, a party’s case may be dismissed for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In considering such a motion, a court is normally required to accept all of the facts alleged in the pleadings as true. After considering the company’s motion, the federal court said the woman successfully pleaded her negligence case.

In the Southern District of Florida’s opinion, the court dismissed the cruise ship operator’s assertion that the case should be dismissed because the injured woman failed to identify the substance on which she allegedly fell. The federal court said that, although the woman will be required to offer more information and evidence at trial, she is not required to provide a comprehensive statement of her injury at the pleading stage. Instead, the Federal Rules only require a “short and plain statement of the claim.”

Next, the Southern District of Florida stated the cruise ship is not necessarily liable to the woman just because she sustained an injury on its vessel. Despite this, the court said the company is required to maintain the ship in a reasonably safe manner and warn passengers traveling on the vessel of any known dangers. Since the woman alleged that the cruise ship company failed to maintain its ship and did not warn her about related hazards, the federal court found that the woman sufficiently alleged a breach.

Finally, the Southern District of Florida held that the woman’s case should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim because she alleged a prima facie case for negligence in her complaint.

If you were unexpectedly hurt while traveling on a cruise ship, you may need an experienced lawyer to advocate on your behalf. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a hardworking Miami personal injury attorney, contact Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. through our website or give us a call at (305) 448-8585.

Additional Resources:

Young v. Carnival Corp., SD Florida 2014

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