The Southern District of Florida has ruled that a cruise passenger trip and fall accident case can proceed to trial over a motion filed by Celebrity Cruises to dismiss the case. In this case, a passenger aboard the Celebrity Summit was walking towards the front of the ship through the Rendezvous Lounge after the mandatory muster drill. While passenger turned the corner to exit the lounge, he tripped and fell to the floor. The passenger claimed that the base of a small table caused his fall. The trip and fall accident resulted in a shoulder injury.
The passenger filed a lawsuit in the Miami division of the Southern District of Florida alleging the table was negligently designed, Celebrity created a hazardous condition by removing chairs from the table thereby exposing the pertruding table base in close proximity to the walkway and Celebrity failed to warn him of the hidden danger. Celebrity filed a motion for summary judgment seeking the federal court to dismiss the case arguing that the cruise line did not design the table, the cruise line did not have notice of the alleged hazardous condition, the alleged hazardous condition was open and obvious, and the alleged negligence was not the proximate cause of the cruise passenger’s trip and fall accident. In a well written order, the court found that while the passenger did not present evidence to establish a claim for negligent design, he did present enough evidence for his personal injury case to proceed to trial on the other claims.