A federal judge in Miami has awarded damages of $2,925,957 to a New Jersey woman who slipped and fell on a pool deck aboard the Carnival Pride. Denise Kaba was attempting to move some pool chairs when she fell and fractured her right knee. She was initially examined by the ship’s doctor, but was told she did not need immediate treatment.
Nine painful days later when she had returned home she was examined and was diagnosed with a displaced and comminuted fracture of her right patella or kneecap. She underwent surgery the next day which was September 2, 2009. Since then she has undergone five additional surgeries, the last in September, 2010.
In her complaint Kaba alleged that the pool area had a resin surface which created an unreasonably slippery condition. Discovery before trial revealed that there had been several prior accidents on the same flooring surface on the Pride and other Carnival ships. Carnival admitted liability, which is rare, and the case proceeded to trial on causation and damages.
At the time of the trial in May, 2011 she testified that she now requires a brace from her hip to her ankle to help her walk. She also testified that she will need at least one knee replacement and may eventually need to have her knee fused in place.
The verdict included $221,911 for past medical costs, $373,564 for future expected medical costs, $200,000 for past pain and suffering, and $1,960,000 for future pain and suffering.