The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment entered in favor of a cruise line represented by Richard J. McAlpin and W. Cooper Jarnagin from McAlpin Tanner Marcotte.

The Court held that the plaintiff could not prove the cruise line was at fault for her claimed incident. The plaintiff alleged the cruise line had failed to maintain an MX-10 lighting machine that was present in an onboard night club. A rotating mirror had dislodged from the MX-10 machine and allegedly struck the plaintiff in the head.

The Eleventh Circuit agreed that the cruise line had no notice of any dangerous condition presented by the MX-10 machine. The evidence showed that the cruise line had employed sound and lighting technicians that regularly maintained the MX-10 machines and inspected them for any issues. Additionally, the Court found that plaintiff’s proposed expert’s opinions were based on speculation and could not show that the cruise line should have been aware of any problems with the MX-10 machines.

Further, the Court held that plaintiff could not use the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to hold the cruise line liable. The plaintiff failed to show that the mirror falling was the type of accident that only occurs due to negligence. There were other competing inferences that the mirror fell due to a design defect, or because the bolts fastening the mirror to the MX-10 machine loosened undetectably over time.

Based on this, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment completely dismissing plaintiff’s action in favor of the cruise line.