Accidents Abroad

Compensation of £7,750 awarded to MSC cruise ship passenger on surprise 65th birthday after cabin bed collapsed

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Anne Thomson

Senior Litigation Executive

4 min read time

A surprise cruise ship holiday to South America to celebrate a dad’s 65th birthday ended with him having to be given painkilling injections twice a day after a faulty cabin bed collapsed.

In an out of court settlement the passenger was awarded £7,750 in compensation for the cruise ship accident even though the holiday company did not admit liability.

The man was whisked away from the UK by his daughter and was unaware of their destination until he arrived at the airport for a flight to Miami where they boarded the cruise ship the MSC Divina for what was meant to be a nine-day holiday of a lifetime.

The father and daughter were enjoying their at sea experience but on day four the cabin bed collapsed beneath him.

The man, who does not wish to be named, was sharing the twin room with his daughter when at around 1pm in the afternoon he sat on her bed.

“I just sat on the edge and the whole thing collapsed. The next thing I was taken to the ship’s hospital,” he said.

The fall, in January 2020, caused a back injury and doctors on board treated him with pain killing injections for the rest of the trip.

It ruined the holiday completely. My daughter was very concerned and thought I’d have to be repatriated.

At first the staff on the ship were a bit aloof with me about the accident but when they realised it was their fault that changed and I was treated better.

The man received treatment at the ship’s hospital, “they were going to charge me $200 a visit because you had to pay each time you went. That would have been very expensive over five days,” he added.

‘The bed in the cabin was a hazard and an accident waiting to happen’

When he returned home he went to his local A&E for further treatment and his recovery took several months.

During that time, he contacted Hudgell Solicitors’ accidents and injuries abroad experts for legal advice and was told he could claim under The Athens Convention.

The international carriage of passengers by sea is governed under English law by the Athens Convention and provides for compensation in the case of death or injury to passengers on ships engaged in international voyages.

He was represented by experienced holiday accident litigation executive Anne Thomson who said:

This was meant to be a really special family occasion but unfortunately it was completely spoilt by a breach of duty by the ship’s operators to keep its passengers safe.

The bed in the cabin was a hazard and an accident waiting to happen. Bringing the holiday accident claim under The Athens Convention was relatively straightforward especially as my client had photographic evidence.

The man says he also has his daughter to thank for being “very astute” and taking photographs of the faulty bed when the accident happened and again when it had been repaired.

The collapsed cruise ship bed
The collapsed cruise ship bed.

“All the photos were timed and dated; when the cruise company saw them they knew the game was up, otherwise I think they would have denied it ever happened,” he said.

The holiday injury claim brought against the cruise company MSC Cruises UK alleged the wooden slats making up the bed frame had moved, and they had not been secured in place as they should have causing the mattress to drop with our client sat on it.

Ms Thomson said, “The cruise company breached its contract with our client by failing to institute an adequate system for inspection and maintenance. If it had, the defect may have been spotted and put right and not exposed our client to a risk of harm.”

The man, who now plans another trip with his daughter in the future, said, “Anne always thought we would win, she said we had a really good case and I’m happy with the outcome.”

Accidents Abroad

If you’ve recognised that you or a member of your family has come to harm as a result of an injury abroad because of the actions of someone else, then you have the right to seek compensation.

The first step is to get in touch. You can begin by contacting us via our claim form and selecting Holiday Accident.

Read more: Holiday Accidents & Injury Abroad Solicitors

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