Closed circuit television (CCTV) video helped the Sun Cruz Casino defend a claim made by a passenger who staged a fake accident at the bottom of a stairwell on the ship.
The video shows an elderly man walking repeatedly up and down a stairwell, apparently rehearsing how the accident will unfold. When no one is looking, he gently kneels down and rolls over. That’s when the acting starts. He begins squealing in pain and claims that he sustained injuries to his neck, back, hip, knee and ankle. He is taken from the "accident scene" on a stretcher.
The cruise passenger retains a lawyer who is smart enough to verify whether an accident really occurred by requesting "all video of the accident."
The cruise line complies. Upon receiving the video below, the lawyer drops the claim like a hot potato.
Do fake accidents like this occur? Yes, as this video proves.
The first thing that we do when we represent a cruise passenger who alleges a serious accident or being a victim of a crime is to request CTTV of the circumstances surrounding the accident or crime. Sometimes cruise lines will show us videos which contradict our client’s account. That’s a good thing. No one wants to have anything to do with a bogus or exaggerated claim. But that’s extremely rare.
Most of the time, the cruise lines ignore us. When we press the matter, the cruise lines claim that there is no video of an accident. I have never seen a cruise line produce an incriminating video which confirms an accident or crime. Cruise lines typically argue that there is no CCTV cameras at that location, or the cameras didn’t work, or the tape was inadvertently erased, or the dog-ate-it type of excuse.
I even had a case where I proved that there was CTTV video of my client’s accident that was given by the ship security to the defense lawyer. But at the hearing on my motion to compel the production of the video, the defense lawyer argued that the video was in a video player which was allegedly stolen during a break-in at the law firm. Evidence destruction is a problem in the cruise industry.
In this case, its nice to see the fake claim against Sun Cruz exposed. Now only if the cruise lines will produce video of all of the legitimate accidents and crimes.
Video Credit: My Fox Tampa Bay / Peter Linton-Smith, FOX 13 Pasco Bureau Reporter