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Cruise Ship Passenger Slip and Fall on a Gangway or Ramp – Is the Cruise Line Responsible?

September 10, 2010 Cruise Ship Passenger Injury Law

passageway.jpgWe represent many passengers who slip and fall on a cruise ship’s gangways and ramps. The first question we are usually asked is if the cruise line is even responsible for gangway and ramp accidents. The answer is yes.

Maritime law requires cruise lines to provide passengers with reasonably safe means of ingress and egress to and from the ship. Despite this duty, several people are injured each year while embarking or disembarking cruise ships.

Gangways are the most utilized method for passenger ingress and egress. Cruise lines have the duty to select proper as well as maintain their gangways. This duty is often breached by:

  • Deploying a short gangway thereby making the slope passengers are required to walk too steep;
  • Selecting a gangway that does not have proper non-skid properties such as anti-slip strips, diamond plate or ribs;
  • Selecting a gangway that is too wide so the passenger cannot utilize both set of handrails;
  • Not properly maintaining the gangway’s non-skid properties which are often worn smooth do to the sheer amount of foot traffic;
  • Not straightening bent flaps on either end of the gangway which meet the deck and shore; and
  • Not mopping up liquid and/or clearing debris which accumulated on the gangway.

Unfortunately, gangway and ramp accidents result in back, neck, knee injuries as well as bone fractures. Often times such injuries have long-term effects.

If you sustained an injury due to an improperly selected or maintained gangway or ramp and have additional questions, feel free to contract our board certified maritime lawyers who specialize in cruise ship passenger accidents.