Cruise Line Not Liable Where Passenger Injured Hurriedly Answering “Call of Nature”

Mase Lara recently obtained an order granting summary judgment in Lombardi v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., 15-cv-20966-MGC for the cruise line where a passenger tripped and fell while running to use the restroom in her cabin at night. The cruise passenger alleged that the raised threshold leading into her cabin’s restroom was a dangerous condition that the cruise line should have warned her about or taken action to correct. Despite this, the evidence demonstrated that the passenger was well aware of the threshold, chose not to turn on her cabin lights, and decided to run to the restroom. The passenger previously testified that she “was not thinking” and that “you don’t use your head sometimes.”

Judge Marcia Cooke held that the cruise line did not breach its duty of reasonable care and that the threshold was an open and obvious condition to the passenger. The court noted that people are familiar with the risks associated with steps and raised surfaces. People are also familiar with the risks posed from maneuvering a room with the lights off. The cruise line did not become liable for the injury due to the passenger’s inattentiveness. The cruise line was entitled to summary judgment on the passenger’s negligence claim.


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