Cruise for Pleasure

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Q: For fifty years, my husband had promised me this cruise to the South Pacific.  Our ship was good enough for me, if not for Cleopatra.  On the deck, there was a bar where drinks were sold, and a dance floor, painted a kind of grey.  Only the bar had a canopy.  People carried their drinks across the dance floor.  Drinks often spilled.  The floor had been dirty and sticky from the first night!  I was dancing with my husband.  Then I slipped and hurt myself.  I went to sit down at a table.  He found someone else.

A: If you bring a lawsuit for negligence, your attorney will argue that the construction of the dance floor and the prevailing conditions, as testified to by your witnesses, created a dangerous condition.  The condition of the dance floor was, or should have been, apparent to the owners.  That is, the owners are liable for your injuries, because they knew, or should have known, of the dangerous condition.

Is your husband thinking about a lawsuit for loss of your care, love and guidance – what lawyers call ‘loss of consortium’?  Its viability would seem to depend on how long you were side-lined.  No court will consider this loss if it was ‘de minimis’.  And your husband may well have managed to take the edge off (mitigate) his damages, by finding the other partner.

All of this is somewhat complicated by the fact that a lawsuit might not even proceed in New York, or under New York law.  After all, the accident took place on the high seas.  From what port did you sail?  Is the ship-owner a New Yorker?  Did your contract, for passage, talk about possible lawsuits?  Contracts should be read in advance.  Your lawyer must consider all of these issues.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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