November 23, 2015

Cruise line operator hit with over $16 million in punitive damages

Holland America Lines passenger awarded $21 million in lawsuitA federal jury in Seattle, Washington awarded $21.5 million to a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being struck in the temple by an automatic sliding door while on a cruise. The Springfield, Ohio man was passing through a heavy automatic door when it suddenly closed on him.

The jury awarded $5 million to the plaintiff for his pain and suffering and an additional $16.5 million in punitive damages for serious negligence on the part of Holland America Line. Jurors heard testimony detailing 16 similar instances of cruise ship passengers injured by automatic doors on cruises operated by Holland America Line.

The plaintiff suffered seizures, became unable to run his small business, suffers from memory loss, and avoids going into public situations that might trigger medical episodes, according to his attorney. The 61 year old victim ran a successful gold and jewelry store before recently selling his business.

Jurors heard key testimony regarding the sensitivity to which the automatic doors were calibrated. Experts at the nine-day trial testified automatic doors should never be able to strike pedestrians. The plaintiff’s attorneys argued the cruise ships doors were calibrated to close quickly in an attempt to save money on air conditioning.

Holland America Line’s attorneys argued the plaintiff was to blame for his injuries, claiming he walked into the doors. Jurors viewed security camera footage appearing to show the automatic doors closing as the plaintiff passed the threshold, forcefully striking him in the side of the head.

While The Cochran Firm, D.C.did not represent any of the parties in this particular case, our experienced personal injury attorneys regularly represent clients injured by the greed and recklessness of powerful corporations. Defendants in personal injury cases often blame victims for their own injuries in an attempt to skirt responsibility for negligent behavior.

If you were seriously injured, contact The Cochran Firm, D.C. for a free legal consultation. If we accept your case, The Cochran Firm, D.C. will work tirelessly to maximize your reward and only collect fees if we win your case.