Elderly passenger files lawsuit after North Tahoe Cruises fails to settle fall dispute

By Carrie Salls | Apr 28, 2018

An elderly Nevada resident filed a lawsuit on April 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleging that North Tahoe Cruises Inc. and other defendants did not address a safety hazard on a lake cruise boat after the plaintiff allegedly fell.

FRESNO – An elderly Nevada resident filed a lawsuit on April 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleging that North Tahoe Cruises Inc. and other defendants did not address a safety hazard on a lake cruise boat after the plaintiff allegedly fell.

Plaintiff Susan Hutchinson alleged in her complaint that she fell while onboard North Tahoe Cruises’ Tahoe Gal vessel while on a lake cruise on May 20, 2015.

According to the complaint, Hutchinson filed her lawsuit after defendants failed to acknowledge plaintiff’s husband’s written request for the amelioration of the hazardous conditions that caused plaintiff injury.

“Defendants knew or should have known that the individuals who booked this cruise were elderly persons, and therefore, had a special duty of care with respect to their well-being and safety throughout the cruise, inclusive of embarkation and debarkation,” the complaint said.

Hutchinson alleged that on the date she took the cruise, North Tahoe Cruises chose to dock the Tahoe Gal “at a different pier than usual, due to the low levels of Lake Tahoe.”

The plaintiff claims nails were sticking up from the structure and she caught her shoe on one of them and consequently tripped and fell, "causing severe neurological and orthopedic injuries.”

In addition to allegedly not helping the elderly passengers get on and off the boat, Hutchinson alleged in her complaint that the defendants did not warn passengers about the condition of the pier it used and did not help her after she fell.

The complaint said although the case was initially filed in Douglas County, Nevada, and the defendants did not respond to the filing, the defendants obtained an extension to May 18 in an effort to seek to resolve the issue out of court, which apparently failed.

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