NEW ORLEANS - After falling on the gangway of a cruise ship when a handrail broke, a passenger has filed a lawsuit that claims the cruise ship failed to properly maintain the handrails on the gangway.

Carolyn Harris filed suit against Carnival Corp. & plc and Carnival Cruise Lines on Sept. 13 in federal court in New Orleans.

Harris claims she boarded the cruise ship Elation at New Orleans as a fare-paying passenger in the summer of 2012. She states that on the morning of July 2, 2012, while descending a vessel-supplied gangway to disembark the vessel, she suffered serious injuries when she fell on the gangway.

According to the lawsuit, the accident was caused by the defective condition of the handrail on the gangway, which unexpectedly shifted, causing Harris to lose her balance and fall.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to properly inspect, repair and maintain the handrail on the gangway and in otherwise breaching their duty of care as common carriers of passengers for higher.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for injuries, medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, disfigurement, disability, loss of the ability to enjoy life's pleasures, court costs, and interest.

Harris is represented by Scott E. Silbert of Silbert & Garon in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-02271

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