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Carnival Cruise negligence led to death, family claims

If a person is obviously intoxicated in a bar or restaurant, and continues to be served, the bartender or server of alcohol could be held liable for any personal injury suffered by the individual.

Recently, the family of a Hitchcock woman filed a lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines, claiming that the cruise company's negligence led to the wrongful death of a 39-year-old woman. According to news reports, the incident took place one year ago on the Carnival Conquest in the Caribbean.

The evening began in a normal fashion with dinner, and the woman had one drink. Later at the casino a fellow passenger began buying rounds of drinks. The 39-year-old was not accustomed to drinking and had four drinks during an approximately three hour period of time. The lawsuit says she showed signs of intoxication and that the pit boss removed three untouched drinks from in front of her, but not the fourth.

The chain of events:

She leaves for her room at around midnight and becomes lost, falling down in the process. She calls her sister to find her way to her room, but is instead found by her fiancé.

The woman is given water to drink and goes to bed.

Her fiancé wakes up to cries for help and blood spurting through the room. She had fallen and cut her arm on the water glass.

The fiancé wraps a towel around the spurting arm and calls the ship's emergency number.

Two ship employees show up and are not equipped for the emergency. They call for the nurse at 2:25 a.m.

At 2:35 the nurse arrives, wraps the arm in ice and an ace bandage and calls for a wheelchair.

The 39-year-old falls out of the wheelchair so the nurse calls for a stretcher.

The crew brings a rescue canoe, which won't fit past a firewall, so the 39-year-old is carried to the canoe.

They wait for an elevator, but the canoe won't fit inside of it.

The crew carries the canoe down seven flights to the infirmary.

Arriving at the infirmary at about 3:00 a.m., still bleeding, the woman experiences cardiac arrest.

One hour later she is pronounced dead due to blood loss from a major artery. Her blood alcohol concentration at the time of death is 0.155 percent.

The family maintains that the cruise line is responsible for injuries sustained on their property. The wrongful death lawsuit charged the company with negligence. There is no word yet on any settlement offer from the cruise line.

Source: Galveston Daily News, "Family sues cruise line in woman's death," Chris Paschenko, May 3, 2012

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