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Man Injured on Cruise Ship Wins $21.5 Million Jury Verdict

Updated February 26, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

A 61-year-old man from Springfield, Illinois has been awarded $21.5 million by an eight-person federal jury in Seattle, Washington following a nine-day trial. The jury calculated actual damages at $5 million, while punitive damages were set at $16.5 million. The defendant in the suit was Holland America Line, headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The cruise ship operator intends to appeal, according to The Seattle Times.

Accident Details

On November 26, 2011, the man attempted to walk through an opening between automatic sliding glass doors on the M/S Amsterdam. Surveillance video shows that the door closed on him, hitting him in the head. Attorneys for the ship’s owner claimed that the man walked into the sliding doors as they were closing.

Brain Injury Diagnosed Later

The ship’s physician subsequently diagnosed him with a concussion, but he, his wife, and daughter still finished their around-the-world trip. However, his attorneys asserted that later medical tests revealed a brain injury that caused memory loss, vertigo, and seizures.

Motion Sensors an Issue

The plaintiff’s attorneys alleged that the door’s motion sensors were set to open and close more quickly, possibly to save on air conditioning expenses. The plaintiff’s legal counsel said during trial that other passengers previously sued Holland America following other sliding door accidents.

Similar Incidents

His attorneys claimed that the owner of the ship, Holland America, failed to disclose details of 34 other sliding-door accidents that occurred on its ships during the three years before the man suffered his injury. The federal judge ultimately allowed the man’s attorneys to present details of 16 of those incidents.

Contact a Premises Liability Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured on a cruise ship, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Premises Liability Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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