Judge throws out the $21.5M verdict for a cruise ship automatic door injury.
Seattle federal Judge Rothstein threw out the $21.5 million verdict that had been awarded to James Hausman, citing that Hausman deleted emails from his personal email account. Hausman was a passenger on a Holland America cruise and while entering through an automatic door, was struck by the door and injured.
The verdict was for $16.5 million in punitive damages and was awarded in October of 2015. Surveillance video showed that the automatic sliding door closed on him when he walked through and it hit him in the head. Discovery proved that Holland America had 16 other door related accidents with the same door. Hausman claimed that the incident caused him to have vertigo, mental lapses, and seizures. Hausman deleted emails from his personal account with references to seizure, sex, love, relationship, etc. when he was told that he would have to submit his personal emails. The judge said that these emails should have been produced in discovery. In addition, after Hausman testified that he avoids using ladders because of his vertigo, an employee of Hausmans testified that she had seen him using a ladder and a fire ax to chop ice off of the porch on his house.