Jury Awarded 21.5 Million
Automatic Door Injury on Cruise Ship
61 year old James Hausman was traveling as a passenger on Holland America Line Cruises on an around the world cruise in November of 2011. At the beginning of the trip, surveillance video shows him approaching a sliding automatic door and as he was walking through the door closed on him, hitting him inthe face and the side of his head. That blow to his head caused minor brain injury that has caused seizures, memory loss and vertigo.
Holland America insisted that Mr. Hausman walked into the door and Hausman's attorney alleged that the cruise line did not reveal documentation on 35 other incidents with that door dating back 3 years.
Discovery proved that motion sensors on the automatic sliding doors were set to open and close faster than normal.
Of the 21.5 million dollar judgment, the federal jury, after only a 9 day trial awarded 16.5 million in punitive damages against the defendants, Holland America.
The jury returned the following verdict:
Defendants Holland America were negligent, which was a proximate cause of damage to Plaintiff James Hausman. The jury said that James Hausman was not negligent and did not cause his own harm. The jury stated that 100% of the negligence that was a proximate cause of the accident was the Defendant Holland America. The jury awarded 5 million to James Hausman for pain and suffering, disability or physical impairment, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and aggravation of a disease or physical defect. The plaintiff proved that the Defendants acted with reckless disregard for Plaintiff's safety and rights, proximatey causing him injury and loss. The jury awarded punitive damages of 16.5 million and the total award is 21.5 million dollars. Holland America plans on appealing what they say is an excessive judgment.
Mike Panish is the nation's leading and most active expert witness and consultant for automatic door personal injury and wrongful death cases. He is regularly retained and designated by plaintiff, defense, cross defense, door manufacturers, and door installers on all types of automatic door injury, product liability, and premises liability cases. Mike Panish is the most comprehensive and thorough automatic door expert witness in the country. Mike Panish is the published author of many informative articles about doors and automatic doors and has been retained and designated as the expert witness for all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases involving doors and automatic doors.