Cruise ship company exculpated of some claims in man's lawsuit over spine injuries in Hawaii

By Gabriel Neves | Nov 28, 2018

MIAMI — A man who suffered spinal injuries while on a walk on the Hawaii seashore has had some claims against his cruise ship company dismissed in a court appeal.

U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles, on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, issued a 12-page ruling on Nov. 26, granting and denying counts in the lawsuit filed by Anthony Ferretti Jr. against cruise operator NCL.

Ferretti is suing NCL on claims of negligence, negligent retention, vicarious liability as agency, and vicarious liability as apparent agency for an incident during an excursion promoted by the defendant.

While on a cruise on the Pride of America, Feretti bought a trip called "Maui Beach Day" operated by a third-party company called Beach Club Maui.

According to the ruling, NCL's website "labeled the excursion as an 'Activity Level 1,' stating that it would 'involve walking over relatively level terrain, possibly some cobblestone, gravel, or a few steps' and that 'comfortable shoes [were] recommended.'”

"The only warning Plaintiff received from Beach Club Maui was to not turn his back to the surf, for which he complied," the ruling said, summarizing Ferretti's claims.

While walking along the seashore, "a large wave broke approximately 10 feet away from Plaintiff with sufficient force to pull him under water," the ruling said. Ferretti landed on his head, and suffered paralysis as a result of injuries to the spinal cord, it said.

Although Beach Club Maui provided NCL with safety reports, the cruise company "failed to follow-up with Beach Club Maui regarding the reports," as of the decision, and also "failed to provide pre-excursion warnings and hazard instructions, failed to enforce policies and procedures that Beach Club Maui was required to follow pursuant to the Standard Shore Excursion Agreement, failed to warn passengers of specific shore break hazards, and failed to adopt policies and procedures for excursion participants," the ruling said.

In his ruling, Judge Gayles dismissed the vicarious liability counts in the case, following lower-court rulings in Hawaii and in Florida "as a result of Plaintiff voluntarily withdrawing two separate complaints in state and federal court."

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Case number 1:17-cv-20202-DPG

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