This admiralty case involves a woman who slipped and fell while aboard a cruise ship. On the date of the incident, the plaintiff was walking through a self-service dining area of the oceanliner when she slipped and fell on a wet substance on a tile floor, injuring her right knee and both wrists. The area where the plaintiff fell was located near a high-traffic self-service beverage station, as well as a swimming pool being used by passengers on the ship. At the time of the fall, there was no mat or other liquid-absorbent surface in place at or near the beverage station. In addition, passengers were wearing wet bathing suits in the general vicinity, having recently left the nearby pool. There were no signs alerting passengers to exercise caution when walking through this area due to slippery conditions of the floors, and there were also no crew members stationed near the exit from the pool area, or near the entrance to the self-serve dining room, to ensure that passengers did not enter the dining room in wet bathing suits and drip water on the tile floor. A boating expert was sought to opine on the issue.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Are you familiar with cruise industry safety protocols?
- 2. Are you familiar with the physics behind slip and fall prevention (ie, surfaces manufactured to prevent slipping) and its application in the Cruise Line Industry?
Expert Witness Response E-008062
I have worked in the maritime industry for my entire life, including 5 years as a Safety Manager for Norwegian Cruises. Right now I run a consultancy that works with cruise companies to assess and train crew with respect to safety issues. During my employment in the cruise industry, I was involved in numerous slip and fall injury investigations and was required to make statements regarding my findings to corporate legal departments. I am very knowledgeable in cruise industry “best practices” for limiting these types of incidents.
Expert Witness Response E-007985
I am very familiar with cruise ship safety protocols and procedures. I also have the technical expertise in friction coefficients to opine on the particular surface at issue in this case.