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Admiralty - Alleged failure to repair water cooler leak - Slip and fall on cruise ship - Wrist fracture with surgery.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

This action arose when the plaintiff slipped and fell while a passenger on the defendant’s cruise ship. The plaintiff alleged that the fall resulted from the defendant’s negligence in allowing a water cooler to leak water onto the floor. The defendant argued that it had a reasonable maintenance program and was not negligent.

The plaintiff, a 49-year-old female at the time, testified that she was walking past the water cooler on the Promenade Deck (the central entertainment deck) of the defendant’s ship, when she slipped and fell in water. The plaintiff claimed that the tile flooring concealed the presence of the water which leaked from the water cooler and created a dangerous, slippery condition on the ship. The plaintiff also claimed that witnesses established that the water had been on the floor for a significant period of time prior to the plaintiff’s fall.

The plaintiff sustained a wrist fracture in the fall and underwent open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture.

The defendant argued that it had a regular inspection and maintenance program in place. The defense denied that the water originated from the water cooler and contended that it came from ice bags which were being carried by other passengers who were with the plaintiff.

The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff.

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