FORT LAUDERDALE -- A Florida woman has filed suit against a cruise ship operator, alleging she suffered serious injury when a boarding ramp collapsed.
Connie Diaz is suing BPCL Management, the parent company of the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and its Grand Celebration ship.
Diaz says she suffered a compression fracture and other injuries that caused pain and suffering and disability when the ramp collapsed, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
"The defendant knew or should have known the ship had a dangerous boarding ramp configuration," the suit said. The hazard was hidden, the complaint states.
Diaz says the defendant was *actively involved in the design and selection and installation of the boarding ramp."
The lawsuit also alleges BPCL should have known of the danger because of "prior failures on the Grand Celebration and/or most all of the ships in its fleet." Close to 20 negligent actions are alleged in the suit.
"[The] defendant knew about the dangerous conditions, or they existed long enough that defendant should have discovered them in exercising due care, or they occurred with such frequency that defendant was on notice of them," the complaint alleged. "The defendant created the dangerous conditions."
The Grand Celebration operates between Palm Beach, Florida, and Freeport, Bahamas three to four times a week.
Diaz seeks damages under the federal General Maritime Law and the laws of the state of Florida.
The complaint contained much information and debate over jurisdiction, largely, it appears, because the incident happened on the Bahamas, and maritime law comes into play. .
But attorneys for Diaz argued that she is based in Florida, as is the defendant, which has headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. Therefore, it is argued, the Southern District has jurisdiction over the action..