Danny Simpson, a British man and former fitness instructor for Norwegian Cruise Lines, has been awarded $9.5 million by a Miami jury after a slip and fall injury on a cruise ship.
The injury occurred in 2006. Simpson was working as a fitness instructor aboard the Norwegian Crown ship. Simpson slipped on a wet floor in the fitness area. A woman had vomited on the floor earlier, and although a cruise ship employee mopped the area, the employee left the area wet and did not warn Simpson about the wet floor. Simpson slipped and severely injured his back.
David Brill, Simpson’s personal injury attorney, told USA Today, “The NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) cleaner had failed to dry an area on the gym floor, and the cleaner did not warn Danny Simpson of that fact. The NCL cleaner was hence clearly negligent in failing to complete the task of cleaning and drying the floor and not warning Mr. Simpson of the area which was still wet.
“Danny Simpson walked on the area of the floor that was wet – unknowingly, of course, and in reliance on the cleaner twice representing that her task was done and the floor was therefore safe – and his legs went out from under him, and he fell on his back, suffering two herniated discs in his spine.”
Brill noted that the spine injury caused constant back and leg pain as well as numbness for Simpson. Further, Simpson can no longer feel sensations from sexual intercourse.
“I suggested that a reasonable value for the past pain and suffering was $4,000 per day,” Brill said. “That was the exact amount the defendant’s urologist expert charges for his daily out-of-town testimony in court, fundamentally to talk about what he thinks a plaintiff in Mr. Simpson’s position suffered. It seemed to me only fair that the value of Mr. Simpson having actually experienced the suffering be at least equal to this physician’s charges.”
The Miami jury took just 42 minutes to render the verdict.
Some individuals in the blogosphere are pointing to this case as an example of a dysfunctional legal system.
“I strongly disagree that this case is a classic example of the legal system run amok; in truth, it is a classic example of justice being served,” said Brill.
Indeed, a property owner is obligated to alert guests as well as employees about dangerous conditions such as wet floors. When employees fail to perform their job duties correctly, as in this case, the responsibility of the slip and fall injury falls on the owner. All property owners should make sure that their employees are adequately trained in safety procedures. Because of the motion of the ocean, cruise ships can be especially dangerous for slip and fall injuries.
Have you suffered a slip and fall injury due to negligence on the part of a property owner? If so, you need an experienced Georgia slip and fall injury lawyer on your side. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.