McAlpin Tanner Marcotte Granted Summary Judgment In Favor Of Cruise Line

Plaintiff, a cruise line passenger, slipped and fell while climbing an outdoor staircase aboard the defendant cruise line’s vessel. Persistent rain throughout the day had caused the ship’s outside staircase to become wet. The plaintiff sued the cruise line for negligence.

McAlpin Tanner Marcotte argued the wet staircase was an open and obvious condition. As such, the cruise line had no duty to warn the plaintiff that the staircase might be wet. The Court agreed, because a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would have perceived the rainy conditions through the ordinary use of their senses, and would have concluded the staircase would be wet and therefore, possibly slippery.

Record evidence also showed the cruise line had no actual or constructive knowledge of a potentially risky condition posed by the wet staircase. Even though there was a permanent “slippery when wet” sign at the nearby shuffleboard court, McAlpin Tanner Marcotte successfully argued this was not applicable to the wet stairs.

Based on this analysis, the Court found that as a matter of law the cruise line was not negligent, and granted summary judgment in favor of McAlpin Tanner Marcotte’s client.