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September 1st 2021

Cruise Ship Accident

Clients make cruise ship accident claims after injuries ‘ruin’ their trips at sea

Anne Thomson

Anne Thomson

Litigation Executive, Travel

Clients make cruise ship accident claims after injuries ‘ruin’ their trips at sea

Hudgell Solicitors’ expert cruise ship accident lawyers have recently secured damages for two passengers who suffered injuries in very different circumstances at sea.

Hudgell Solicitors’ expert cruise ship accident lawyers have recently secured damages for two passengers who suffered injuries in very different circumstances at sea.

Ahead of the first British cruise line restarting fly-cruises on September 3, with Tui Marella Cruises sailing from Corfu, we highlight how our specialist travel solicitors helped two clients pursue a personal injury claim for compensation for an accident at sea.

In the first case, a woman and her husband were on a Tui Marella Cruises 14-day trip of the Caribbean in April 2019, with stop-offs in Jamaica, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

Halfway through the cruise, the couple were on the open deck of the Marella Discovery 2 cruise ship when the woman moved towards a sun lounger to sit down. However, when she approached it, the back of the lounger flipped forwards as a result of the windy conditions and the metal frame at the top of the lounger – which did not have its protective edging in place – hit the woman above her right eye.

The woman, who was left in pain and shock, had medical treatment and stitches were required to the cut on her head. She also suffered subsequent bruising, scarring just above her eyebrow, and headaches for over a week following the accident at sea.

Cruise ship accident claim highlighted alleged failings over sun lounger

Anne Thomson, Travel Litigation Executive at Hudgell Solicitors, who represented the woman in her cruise ship accident claim, cited the Athens Convention during the claim against Tui.

The international carriage of passengers by sea is governed under English law by the Athens Convention 1974 and provides for compensation in the case of death or injury to passengers on ships engaged in international voyages.

The legal case against Tui alleged that the accident at sea happened as a result of failings over the inspection and maintenance of the sun lounger, which exposed our client to a risk of injury, or to provide sun loungers which were of safe design for use in windy conditions.

Ms Thomson said: “The second half of the cruise was ruined for our client because of her injuries, which caused her discomfort and headaches.

“She also felt extremely self-conscious and embarrassed as other passengers would stare at her.

“Furthermore, the painkillers prescribed onboard made our client sleepy which resulted in her spending more time in her cabin than she would normally have done.

“The couple were assured that an inspection had taken place and the damaged loungers removed. Some days later towards the end of the cruise, however, our client and her partner noticed that damaged loungers remained in situ.”

Tui did not accept liability for the wind causing the back of the sun lounger flying up and said no similar incidents happened on the same day.

However, Ms Thomson helped secure a £7,750 compensation settlement for her client after a part 36 offer was made to settle the matter without admission of liability.

Holiday claims solicitors help woman make accident at sea claim after mini cruise

In a second recently settled injury abroad claim, our expert cruise ship accident lawyers helped a woman secure damages after being injured on a trip from Hull to the Netherlands in October 2019.

P&O Pride of Rotterdam
The P&O Pride of Rotterdam ship

On the first day of the two-night P&O cruise on the Pride of Rotterdam ship, the woman went to her cabin, where there was a defect with the bed that made the side stick out further. However, due to the quilt being over the bed, our client did not see this and hit her leg on the side of the bed where the defect was.

She saw the onboard medic who gave her some ice for her leg and an accident report was completed. Her leg was sore for the full trip so when she returned home she visited her local GP.

The claim alleged that the accident at sea happened as a result of failings to inspect, maintain and repair the cabin furniture to a safe standard; to warn our client of any risk; or ensure she was reasonably safe during the trip.

Anthony Hey, Travel Litigation Executive at Hudgell Solicitors, who represented the woman, said: “We alleged that our client’s injury arose from a ‘defect in the ship’ within the meaning of the Athens Convention and, accordingly, their negligence was presumed unless the contrary was proved.

“Our client sustained a lump and bruising to her shin and the incident impacted the remainder of her Dutch trip.”

Mr Hey successfully secured accident at sea compensation for the woman of £1,200 after liability for the accident at sea was admitted by P&O.

Have you suffered an accident at sea and think you may have a claim for compensation? Get in touch with our expert cruise ship lawyers today for free, no obligation advice on your case. Click here to find out more.

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