In Frango v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 891 So. 2d 1208 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005), the court let a cruise passenger’s claim for injuries against Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. continue towards trial. This isn’t my case.
If a court lets a case go to trial, this increases the settlement value. The cruise lines lawyers’ to defend the case. Thus, adjusters usually make a settlement offer.
However, it ruled in favor of Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD. and dismissed a husband’s claim for loss of consortium.
This case is still cited by courts today.
Sliding Doors Closed on Passenger’s Face
On November 15, 2001, the Frangos boarded Royal Caribbean’s (RCCL) SS Galaxy in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
While the ship was on the high seas, the automatic sliding doors that lead into the ship’s lounge closed on Iris Frango’s face.
This incident occurred during the early evening hours as Iris Frango entered the lounge and turned her head around to find her husband, who was walking behind her.
Doors Broke Her Nose
Royal Caribbean Had Prior Issue With Doors
Pandelis Kordonis, RCCL’s Chief electronic engineer, testified that on one occasion, his assistant stood very close to the closed doors to talk to him and the doors failed to sense his assistant’s presence.
(A case is usually worth more if the premises or cruise line knew of the problem – that caused your injury – before the accident.)
Kordonis also testified that when the doors sense a line of people, the doors will remain open all of the time.
If Person Remained in Place in Front of Doors, Doors Sensor May Lose The Person
However, if a person remained stationary for a moment just prior to the entryway of the doors, the sensor could lose that person.
The person could then walk directly into the doors.
Engineer Inspects Doors; Says They Weren’t Properly Installed
Mark A. Young, an architectural civil engineer, inspected and tested the automatic doors and opined that the sensors and doors were not properly installed and maintained.
He found that the sensor was missing a lens cover which could have allowed the doors to remain closed.
Engineer Says Door Could’ve Prevented The Incident
He said that RCCL could have had measures to prevent the incident from occurring through the installation of emergency switches which could have allowed the doors to remain open in anticipation of a steady flow of passengers.
RCCL tried to get Iris Frango’s personal injury claim dismissed. RCCL argued that Iris Frango was the sole and proximate cause of her injuries.
Under general maritime law, RCCL owed the Frangos the duty of exercising reasonable care under the circumstances.
Appeals Court Says She Wasn’t 100% Responsible for Accident
The court said that it can’t agree that by briefly stopping to look back at her husband, Iris Frango was entirely responsible for the accident. It let her case continue towards trial.
In cruise accident cases, a jury can still find fault on a passenger. The verdict is then reduced by the passenger’s percentage of fault in causing the accident.
Court Says No Loss of Consortium Claim for a Cruise Accident
The appeals court said that it was best to follow the majority rule and deny loss of consortium damages to the passenger’s husband, Mr. Frango.
It approved the trial court’s dismissal his consortium claim.
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