Woman In Wheelchair Sues Carnival Cruises After Gangway Injury
A 61-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against Carnival Cruises after crashing down the gangway of their Mardi Gras ship causing serious injuries. The lawsuit claims that the woman was seriously injured after Carnival staff failed to help her down the gangway as she tried to disembark the ship.
According to the lawsuit, the cruise ship had stopped in the Dominican Republic at Amber Cove when the plaintiff wanted to get off the ship and explore the area. When she approached the gangway ramp connecting the ship to the dock, she allegedly received no assistance from Carnival staff. The plaintiff contends that she began rolling down the gangway at a rapid speed and was eventually struck by a board or panel that was sticking out of the gangway. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff claims she suffered serious and permanent injury. She is looking for an undisclosed amount of damages.
In a statement, Carnival stated that those using mobility devices must be able to safely navigate the angle of the gangway.
Gangway accidents on cruise vessels
A gangway is a narrow ramp that bridges the distance between land and the cruise ship itself allowing passengers to board and exit the ship. They are typically positioned at an incline and have handrails and high-friction floors used to prevent slips and falls. Sometimes, however, the gangways can be dangerous to passengers aboard the vessel and injuries sometimes result from gangway accidents. You can easily see how a woman in a wheelchair might be injured in a gangway accident.
In this case, the woman lost control of her wheelchair and rolled down the gangway at an unmanageable speed. She struck a board or panel and sustained injuries as a result of the accident. She is suing Carnival Cruises in part because no one offered to render assistance to her or she was denied assistance by the cruise ship employees.
Gangway accidents are relatively common. Gangways have inclines that can result in slip and fall injuries. Potential gangway accidents include:
- When the gangway is not properly secured to the dock
- Slick handrails that result in falls
- Slippery flooring that results in slip-and-fall accidents
- Failure to follow safe weight limits on the gangway
- Excessively steep inclines that result in injury
- Failure to provide assistance to passengers who use mobility devices
Maritime law requires that cruise lines offer a safe method for the passengers to embark and disembark. Gangways are used by thousands of passengers aboard cruise ships. There may be as many as 100 individuals using the gangway at any given time. The condition of the gangway must be periodically checked to ensure it is in safe condition.
The gangway is considered a part of the ship and as such, the owner of the ship can be held liable for injuries that occur on the gangway.
Talk to a Florida Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Today
The Florida personal injury attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of those injured aboard cruise ships. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.