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Miami-Dade County, FL

The plaintiff was employed by the defendant, Steiner Transocean Limited, a company which provided spa services on board a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. The plaintiff asserted, under the Federal Jones Act, that an employee of the cruise ship mopped the floor, but failed to dry it; yet, told the plaintiff twice that she was "done", implying the floor was indeed dry and safe. As the plaintiff was walking in the area, his legs slipped out from under him and he landed on his back. Norwegian Cruise Lines settled the plaintiff’s claims for an undisclosed sum prior to trial. The plaintiff sued Steiner Transocean Limited under the Jones Act, which permits direct lawsuits by seamen against their employers. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, Steiner Transocean Limited, breached its nondelegable duty to maintain the spa area in a reasonably safe condition for its employees, including the plaintiff. The defendant denied negligence and argued that the plaintiff’s symptoms were not causally related to the fall.

The plaintiff was a resident of Briton and was employed by the defendant as a fitness instructor onboard a cruise ship in ________. The plaintiff testified that he had completed teaching an aerobics class in the spa area when a passenger, who was using the treadmill, became sick and vomited on the floor. One of Norwegian Cruise Line’s employees was called and arrived to clean the spa floor.

The plaintiff testified that the Norwegian Cruise Line employee told him twice that she was finished with the cleaning, which the plaintiff understood to mean that the floor was clean and dry. However, when the plaintiff was walking through the area, he contended that he slipped and fell as a result of water which had been left on the floor. The plaintiff alleged that the Norwegian Cruise Line cleaner was negligent in failing to completely dry the floor, failing to advise the plaintiff that the floor was wet and in failing to place cones or warning signs to warn of the dangerous condition, and that the defendant was responsible for that negligence and failed to make sure that the spa area was safe.

The plaintiff’s physicians testified that the plaintiff was diagnosed with partial cauda equina syndrome involving permanent damage to the nerves in his spine, with resulting urinary and bowel incontinence and sexual impotence. The plaintiff, currently 42 years old, testified that he is required to self-catheterize to urinate and to irrigate his bowels three times a week.

The plaintiff underwent two penile implant surgeries to treat the sexual impotency, which he claimed was causally-related to the fall. He is married with six children and was employed as a truck driver prior to becoming a fitness instructor. The plaintiff’s treating physician opined that the plaintiff is now limited to sedentary employment. The plaintiff was earning about $________ annually at the time of the incident. He claimed that he is unable to return to a physically demanding job, but hopes to start his own trucking company in the future.

The plaintiff’s physician testified that the plaintiff will require a spinal fusion in the future in the hopes that is will help alleviate some if not all of his back pain. However, the plaintiff’s doctor testified that the future fusion surgery will not affect any of the plaintiff’s other injuries and symptoms.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff was aware that the floor had just been mopped and was comparatively negligent in failing to use due caution. The defense also denied that the plaintiff’s bladder, bowel and impotency issues were causally related to the fall. The defense argued, among other things, that the plaintiff had a preexisting erectile dysfunction condition.

The jury found the defendant ________% negligent and awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages.

The award included $________ in past loss of wages; $________ in future loss of wages; $________ in future medical expenses; $________ in past pain and suffering and $________ in future pain and suffering. The defendant’s motion for new trial and/or remitter is pending.

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