June 3, 2008

Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
Managing Partner/Operations
305-670-1101 Ext. 123


William E. Crabill

Miami, FL Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) partner William E. Crabill obtained a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of Cunard Line Limited Co. (Cunard) against claims brought by several cruise passengers injured during a Caribbean shore excursion accident in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga presided over the two (2) week trial, in which the six (6) Plaintiffs, all passengers aboard the Cunard ocean liner, M/V “Queen Mary 2” brought negligence, joint venture, agency and apparent agency claims as the result of personal injuries sustained during a tour bus accident.

The accident occurred on November 29, 2005, as the result of an apparent brake failure during a steep downhill descent. During the descent, the tour bus careened off the mountainside and reached speeds estimated in excess of 60 mph, causing passengers to be thrown from their seats to the floor of the vehicle. The tour bus driver was only able to stop the vehicle by steering it up a sharply inclined driveway near the bottom of the descent.

The severity of the Plaintiffs’ injuries ranged from bruises and lacerations to multiple fractures and life-threatening internal injuries requiring surgical intervention. One Plaintiff was evacuated from the ship, airlifted from Barbados to the United States, and treated for almost two (2) weeks at a level one trauma center.

The Plaintiffs testified that prior to the accident they had noticed a burning brake smell and advised the driver of same. The Plaintiffs also testified that they observed the tour bus driver adding brake fluid to the vehicle while it was stopped at a tour stop prior to the accident. The Plaintiffs alleged that a volunteer gentleman host, who was aboard the tour bus to evaluate the shore excursion for Cunard, placed the cruise line on notice of the brake problem and should have called for a substitute tour bus.

During the trial, the Defendants offered $1.1 million. In closing argument, Plaintiffs asked the jury to award $7.1 million. The jury deliberated less than three (3) hours before returning their defense verdict in favor of Cunard and Co-Defendant, Fun Water Tours, Inc.

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a civil defense firm with a wide variety of litigation services for healthcare companies, healthcare facilities, physicians and other healthcare licensed professionals and their insurers. The firm’s Litigation Department also provides general liability defense for all businesses, insureds and insurance companies. Our practice groups and industry-based teams ensure clients have access to attorneys with the best expertise, regardless of location. QPWB maintains a tightly integrated network of six fully staffed offices throughout Florida with attorneys licensed in several states.

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