Sorrels v. NCL (Bahamas), LTD, No. 13-15858 (11th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff and her husband filed suit against NCL after she slipped on the pool deck of NCL's cruise ship and fractured her wrist, alleging negligence and seeking damages. The district court excluded all of the expert testimony and publications submitted by plaintiff with respect to the coefficient of friction (COF), and granted summary judgment in favor of NCL. The court concluded that the district court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of one of the expert's publications relied on for his opinion of the industry COF standard; assuming without deciding that the “substantial similarity” test applied to the COF measurements taken by the expert, the district court erred; the court left it to the district court to consider Federal Rule of Evidence 403 on remand given what the court discussed about the admissibility of portions of the expert's testimony; but the district court correctly ruled that the expert's "false sense of security" theory was unreliable. The court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's evidentiary rulings, vacated the grant of summary judgment and the award of costs in favor of NCL, and remanded for further proceedings.