Queensland Pensioner Injured on a Cruise Compensation Exceeds $140,000 Despite Denial of Liability

Published 23 Mar 2015

Practice Area: Slip & Fall Public Liability Claims

A Queensland pensioner on board a cruise ship in Alaska was injured when she tripped over an unsecured carpet while attempting to reboard the cruise ship. She fell heavily and sustained significant injuries to her head, right knee, and back. Her holiday was ruined – she was bedridden, unable to participate in activities, and was ostracised by the other passengers on the cruise due to the bruising on her face.

Upon her return to Queensland, she contacted a law firm who advised her that she had only a slight chance of success in a claim for compensation. She then tried to seek compensation directly from the cruise company but they denied liability. She refused to accept this and instead sought the expert advice of Gerard Malouf & Partners.

The solicitors of Gerard Malouf & Partners immediately took the client on and commenced proceedings on her behalf against the cruise company. Vrege Kolokossian organised a number of expert reports to support our client’s claim. The expert medical reports confirmed that our client would continue to suffer pain in her lower back region for the remainder of her life. The defendant solicitors argued that her age and the fact that x-rays showed significant degenerative arthritic changes in her lower back would lessen the value of her entitlement. Our client instructed us that the pain she was suffering following the accident was different to her problems before the accident. Vrege Kolokossian proceeded to ask our client’s GP to provide us with a report specifically addressing the difference between our client’s medical issues prior to and following the accident. The GP’s report supported our client’s argument that she had only begun to experience pain in her lower back after the accident. Vrege Kolokossian utilised the GP’s report to demand a significantly higher amount of compensation. The expert liability reports obtained analysed the CCTV footage and found that the cruise ship had failed to position staff near the ramp to assist passengers onto the cruise ship, the cruise’s handrail did not extend the full length of the ramp, and that the carpet was not fixed securely to the ramp. Vrege Kolokossian used this report to argue that the cruise ship owed our client a higher amount of compensation for failing to provide safe access to the ship.

Vrege Kolokossian skilfully utilised these reports to negotiate with the defendant solicitors. He was able to successfully secure our client compensation in excess of $140,000.00 despite liability never being admitted by the cruise company. The client was extremely happy with this result and was very grateful that Gerard Malouf & Partners had taken her on as a client when others would not.