When a slip-and-fall accident occurs, an injured customer has the right to file a legal action for relief even if it happened while a cruise ship was sailing on international waters. After a Texas woman fell on the slippery deck of a gaming vessel, she suffered injuries described as “severe and lasting.” She requested damages between $200,000 and $1 million to recover.

According to the complaint, the ship’s employees announced it was legal to enjoy the gaming at the boat’s gambling hall as the vessel had left U.S. waters. As reported by Newsweek magazine, while walking on the ship’s deck to the gaming room, she purportedly fell because it was slippery from moisture. Since the deck allegedly lacked a non-slip coating, the ship had a hazardous condition that was the cause of her falling and suffering severe harm.

Duty of care to warn

When an unsafe condition exists or is likely to exist, owners, management and employees of the premises owe a duty of care to warn customers. Placing a yellow safety sign that a reasonable individual would interpret as a “caution” symbol where a customer may slip often serves as an adequate warning. If a clear and noticeable forewarning is not present, however, customers may hold companies strictly liable for their injuries.

To succeed with a lawsuit, proving that the premise’s owner knew of a dangerous condition may be a significant factor, as noted on the Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Extension Service site. A plaintiff must show an existing hazardous condition caused the accident and the owner failed to correct the hazard or warn customers. Legal action may aid in recovering medical expenses and compensate for the loss of wages while recuperating.