A Federal District Court Judge recently awarded a verdict in favor of a cruise passenger who was seriously injured in a slip and fall accident during a cruise aboard a Carnival cruise ship. 

The passenger, Ms. Denise Kaba, reportedly slipped and fell on the deck around a pool on the Carnival Pride cruise ship in August, 2009.  She sustained a fractured knee cap and which resulted in six surgeries and the need for surgery (knee replacement) in the future.

Carnival Slip and Fall Accident - Compensation - LawyerHer theory of liability was that the pool deck was covered with a resin surface which was  slippery as ice.  Carnival had notice of prior accidents on this type of dangerous surface.

Carnival admitted liability for the accident. The case was tried before the Court (without a jury) solely on the issue of damages. 

Judge Ursula Ungaro awarded $2,998,155.70 which consists of $170,483.00 for loss of earning capacity, $221,910.55 for past medical expenses, $373,564.00 for future medical expenses, $200,000.00 for past non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, scarring, disfigurement, and disability), $1,960,000.00 for future non-economic damages, and $ 72,198.15 in pre-judgment interest:  

The case is styled: Denise Kaba v. Carnival Corporation, United States District Court Southern District of Florida, Case No. 10-21627-CIV-UNGARO.

The passenger was represented by Jack Hickey and David Appleby of the Hickey Law Firm.

Carnival was represented by Tom Scott and Armando Rubio of the Cole, Scott & Kissane law firm.


For other recent awards entered against Miami-based cruise lines, read: Royal Caribbean Ordered to Pay $1,250,000 to Injured Crewmember.


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  • Michael Becker

    While the grant of all other components of that compensation is justified and commendable, the award of those $1,960,000 ‘for future non-economic damages’ is quite far-fetched. A typical example of the often-mentioned excesses in the US litigation-business.
    I dare to assume that the lady in question would never had made 3 million if she had only done her job and spent her holidays e.g. at Miami Beach.

  • Edward Binks

    Friend had a accident (Distal Femur fracture resulting in a shorter leg severe restricted knee – walking ability movement) on a American owned ship last year.
    Circumstances similar (slipped due to water on deck at night in an area where they should not have been any) admitted liability

    Long term healing prognosis still being evaluated, distinct effect on quality loss of life already apparent not only to friend but to spouse also

    Action being undertaken by UK based law firm due to friend UK national

    Has anyone experience of similar experience and or financial outcome?