MIAMI – A U.S. District Court recently paved the way for a trial in a personal injury complaint against Carnival Corporation by ruling on several motions regarding witness testimony in the case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida waded through a variety of motions in his ruling filed Oct. 5 relating to the case in which Dawn Dawsey is suing Carnival Corp., alleging she suffered a fractured hip during a bamboo massage in a spa operated by Steiner Transocean Ltd. aboard Carnival’s Elation cruise ship. Dawsey and the defendants had filed several pretrial motions to exclude expert-witness testimony or evidence.
“(Dawsey) claims that Steiner’s masseuse broke her hip during the massage due to excessive force with the bamboo," court filings said. "She also alleges that the injuries required surgery and extensive treatment and rehabilitation.” The plaintiff holds Carnival liable for not hiring and training masseuses properly.
“Defendants deny those charges. They say that Dawsey suffered from pre-existing back pain, lied about her pre-existing conditions and failed to complain to Steiner or Carnival during or immediately after the massage,” court documents said.
Dawsey requested the court deny the defendants from “mentioning that Steiner is the industry leader in providing spa services, prohibit them from arguing Dawsey is a fraud and to exclude evidence of her marijuana, opioid and alcohol use."
The court denied Dawsey’s motion with regard to Steiner’s reputation but granted the motions on the other two accounts.
A motion by Dawsey to exclude evidence from Dr. Mitchell Whiteman, a defense-retained diagnostic radiologist, was denied.
“The court agrees with defendants that Dr. Whiteman is sufficiently qualified to give his opinions. Dawsey, however, is free to vigorously cross-examine Dr. Whiteman at trial in an effort to uncover purported deficiencies in his training,” the court decision stated.
The court also denied a motion by the defendants to exclude the opinions of Dr. Christopher Troiano, an orthopedic surgeon who reviewed Dawsey’s post-cruise medical records and concluded that the massage caused her hip injury.
“Dr. Troiano’s opinion testimony on causation is far from strong and barely squeaked by the pre-trial motion to exclude it. Dawsey may not necessarily obtain the same favorable ruling at trial,” the court decision noted.