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Cruise Ship Accident

Case Studies


We acted for TG, a young man in his twenties, who was injured during a pacific cruise around Hawaii. TG was having a fun filled holiday, and regularly went to the ship’s nightclub in the evenings.

One evening TG was walking through the busy club when he was accidently pushed into some low lights illuminating the dance floor. TG was wearing shorts and his leg pressed against a light which was red-hot. He sustained a deep burn as a result, which went on to blister and scar.

The rest of TG’s holiday was ruined as he was unable to get his injury wet, thus making him unable to enjoy the ship’s swimming pools or to swim and surf at Hawaiian beaches during shore excursions.

We submitted a claim to the cruise company for the injury and loss of enjoyment of the remainder of TG’s holiday. We settled the claim to TG’s satisfaction, and he used the compensation to go on a luxury holiday with another company to make up for his spoiled cruise.


We successfully recovered compensation for a young boy, GB, who fell from an unguarded top bunk bed in his parents’ cabin during a Pacific Islands cruise. GB had awoken in the night and, disorientated as to where he was, fell through a wide unguarded gap from his top bunk. He fell onto a nightstand and fractured his wrist.

GB’s parents had approached other lawyers for legal advice, but had been turned away as the accident occurred in international waters. GB’s family then turned to Stacks Goudkamp.

We brought a claim against the cruise line and alleged that the bunk bed was unsafe and did not meet requisite safety standards. The cruise line agreed to settle the claim and we secured compensation for GB without having to go to court.


Our client, PG, was injured during a trans Tasman cruise to New Zealand. One evening he was descending the grand staircase in the vessel’s atrium, when he suddenly tripped down the bottom step. He fell onto the marble floor below, sustaining serious orthopaedic injuries including torn ligaments in his shoulder and knee.

It transpired that the bottom step was a different size and shape to the other steps. We brought a claim against the cruise line alleging that the staircase failed to meet requisite health and safety regulations, and sought compensation for PG’s injuries.

We successfully recovered compensation for PG to cover his pain and suffering, medical expenses, and domestic assistance needs without the need to start court proceedings.


We successfully acted for a retiree, CR, who was badly injured when he tripped and fell in a cruise ship’s corridor. As a result of the fall, he dislocated and fractured his shoulder, requiring surgery. The accident occurred at the start of a South Pacific cruise, thus ruining the remainder of his holiday.

CR sought Stacks Goudkamp’s advice. With the assistance of photographs that he had taken in the ship, we were able to establish that the floor in question was a tripping hazard. We brought a compensation claim against the cruise line who agreed to settle the case out of court, with an allowance made for CR’s contributory negligence for not looking carefully at where he was going.


Our cruise accident lawyers were instructed by a charity worker who suffered multiple injuries when he slipped on a spillage during a Mediterranean cruise.   Our client, TH, was walking on a tiled area inside the ship when he suddenly slipped and fell to the floor, tearing his hamstring in the process. It transpired that he had slipped on a pool of water that was concealed by the glossy tiles. There were no wet floor warning signs in place.

We established that the location of TH’s accident was an indoor shortcut used by passengers going to and from the ship’s swimming pool. There was no policy in place preventing passengers from going inside wearing wet swimming attire. We therefore alleged that the water was most likely from a passenger’s dripping swimming clothes, and that the cruise line was negligent for failing to have a ‘no wet clothes’ policy inside, not inspecting and cleaning the area, failing to have wet floor signs, and having defective flooring tiles.

We brought a claim against the cruise line who initially denied liability. However we persevered and were able to resolve the case for a generous amount without having to commence court proceedings.


Our expert travel lawyers successfully brought a compensation claim for HT, a cruise passenger who was injured on a shore excursion in Asia.

HT booked a city sightseeing tour of Singapore through his cruise operator.  The tour was conducted on a minibus with fellow passengers, along with a driver and tour guide.

HT enjoyed the tour. However, the minibus became delayed in traffic on the return trip to the ship.  The driver, therefore, had to make up time so that his passengers were not delayed for the ship’s departure.

The minibus was being driven quickly on the final approach to the cruise ship terminal.  The driver was driving at an excessive speed and had to brake suddenly at red traffic lights.  The minibus was not fitted with seatbelts. The sudden braking caused our client to move violently in his seat, causing him a whiplash injury.

HT made a good recovery from his injury.  However, we were able to secure him compensation from the cruise line to cover his medical expenses and for the lost enjoyment of the remainder of his cruise.


Our client and her husband were only two days into a two-week cruise holiday when she sustained a nasty fracture to her right wrist and injury to her shoulder after slipping over on a greasy floor aboard the vessel.

Upon her return to Australia, our client underwent surgery to repair the fracture to her wrist and incurred significant medical expenses for both the surgery and her extended period of rehabilitation. Our client also was forced to have over 5 months off work to recover from her injuries.

After tough negotiations with the cruise ship company, Stacks Goudkamp achieved a settlement for our client which compensates her for all of her past expenses, provides her with security for the future, and provides some acknowledgement that our client’s holiday was ruined by this avoidable accident.


Our client, Audrey, sustained a serious injury to her leg whilst on a luxury South Pacific cruise.

Audrey and her husband John had enjoyed a shore excursion to a tropical beach in Fiji and took a tender back to the cruise ship. As the tender approached the vessel, the sea conditions became rough. The passengers were instructed to disembark the tender onto the vessel, but by this time the tender was rising and falling by the height of an adult due to the waves and rough swell.

Audrey was stepping across from the tender to the cruise ship’s pontoon when a large wave caught her off balance. She fell forward and fractured her tibia.

We submitted a claim to the Australian cruise operator on the basis that they were negligent, breached their contract with Audrey, and breached statutory guarantees they owed to Audrey under the Australian Consumer Law to provide cruise holiday services with due care and skill and which were reasonably fit for purpose. In particular, we alleged that the transfer operations should have been suspended until the weather abated, or until the cruise company could provide additional assistance to passengers. The cruise company denied liability.

We commenced court proceedings in the District Court of NSW. After protracted negotiations, the cruise operator agreed to settle Audrey’s claim rather than go to trial. Audrey received a favourable settlement, which she told us she would put towards a luxury cruise with another operator, to make up for her ruined holiday.


Our client was on a luxury Pacific Islands cruise when he slipped on wet decking that had been hosed earlier that morning.  He sustained injuries to his shoulder.

On return to Australia, our client required significant medical treatment and his ability to work was compromised.

Our specialist travel lawyers brought a compensation claim against the cruise operator for our client’s cruise accident.  Although liability was strongly denied, we were able to successfully secure our client compensation for his injuries without the need to go to court.


I could write a book as to how the last 4 years would have been different if not for Tom and his team.
The support, assistance, advice from the first conversation till even after the settlement was second to none from the team at Stacks Goudkamp.
Four years on and after many downs, my children and I have our lives back.
We are unable to THANK YOU enough, but know that you have changed our lives for the better in so many ways since the accident.



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