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Showing posts from May, 2011

U.S. District Court Jury Finds Cruise Line Not Responsible for Fall

In Groves v. Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd., Case No. 1:09-cv-20800-EGT, a jury exonerated a cruise line for a passenger's knee injuries from a 2008 slip and fall. Ms. Groves was reportedly backing into a wait station in a dining room on a Royal Caribbean Cruises ship when she slipped and fell. She suffered a torn meniscus and a subchondral trabecular fracture and underwent 2 surgeries. Ms. Groves claimed waiters often spilled water in the area but failed to timely clean it. The defense argued that Ms. Groves could not prove how long the liquid was on the floor or where it came from. The defense also argued that Ms. Groves failed to use due care by walking backwards in high heels after she had consumed a couple of alcoholic beverages. Should you wish more information on this case, please feel free to contact me at or

$3 Million Judgment for Slip and Fall Against Carnival

On May 19, 2010, Denise Kaba filed suit against Carnival Corporation, alleging she slipped and fell on a multi-colored pool deck surface on the Carnival Pride cruise ship August 22, 2009. Kaba was on a Caribbean cruise sailing from Baltimore with her husband as a passenger and slipped when she was moving some pool chairs. She suffered a fractured knee and underwent 6 surgeries in 1 1/2 years. The attorneys for Kaba argued the cruise line installed a resin surfaced pool deck that "was hard and slippery as ice." They said Carnival knew about numerous previous accidents on the same surface and on other ships and did nothing to make the surface safe. Carnival conceded liability and setting up a bench trial on damages alone. U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro found damages of just under $3 million: $1.96 million for future non-economic damages; $595,476 for past and future medical expenses; $200,000 for pain and suffering; $170,500 for loss of earnings capacity and $72,198 for pre…

Transportation Credential, a Dangerous & Expensive Security Experiment?

Taken From the Maritime Executive Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a scathing report today that exposes serious security weaknesses and years-long delays in a program to fully implement a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).  TWIC is intended to protect the nation’s port and maritime transportation systems. U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, testified at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing today during which the GAO report was released.  Chairman Mica, one of the requestors of today’s GAO report, said, “TWIC is turning into a dangerous and expensive experiment in security.” The TWIC for maritime industry workers was mandated in the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA).  After many delays, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) finally began issuing TWICs in 2007, but the agency still has not a…

Port Legislation Passes in Florida House and Senate

From The Maritime Executive dated May 4, 2011
A bill that would put a stop to requiring port workers, including truck drivers, to have state security clearance finally passed through the Senate on Monday, after its House counterpart already passed that would help ease the flow of Florida transportation. Currently, the legislation waits to be approved by Governor Rick Scott, though it is thought to be signed by Scott without a hitch, as he had previously stated he will sign the bill. If Scott approves as planned, logistics companies have projected that it will save around $200 per employee by joining the rest of the country in only requiring federal security clearance to the port workers and truck drivers. The legislation would require Florida to create a Florida Department of Transportation Secretary with economic development.  Also, it would require port projects to be approved in less than 60 days, as opposed to the current timeframe that can leave approval lingering for more than 2 …

New U.S. Supreme Court decision

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S957a (Apr. 27, 2011).

Arbitration -- Class actions -- Federal Arbitration Act prohibits States from conditioning enforceability of certain arbitration agreement on availability of classwide arbitration procedures -- California supreme court's Discover Bank decision, which held that class waivers in consumer arbitration agreement are unconcionable under certain circumstances, is preempted by FAA, because it stands as an obstacle to acomplishment and execution of full purposes and objectives of Congress

This decision is huge and is a major reversal of many state decisions finding that the FAA does not preempt state law on classwide arbitrations. Should you have any questions on this decision or wish a full copy, please feel free to contact me at Regards, Michelle Otero Valdés