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Couple assaulted on cruise ship take legal action

When most people think about taking a cruise, images of exotic locations and luxurious amenities likely spring to mind. While there's no doubt that cruise ships almost exclusively travel to desirable locations and are equipped with a host of entertainment and dining options, they can also be the scene to a host of accidents and assaults.

A British couple who were patrons on a cruise ship claim to have been attacked and beaten by another passenger. The 70-year-old man and his 69-year-old wife recounted the horrifying encounter as a trial against the 53-year-old man, who is alleged to have attacked them, resumes.

According to court testimony, the couple says they were headed back to their cabin after enjoying dinner aboard the ship when the attack occurred. While preparing to enter their cabin room, the couple asserts that the 53-year-old came out of nowhere and punched the 70 year old knocking him unconscious. Upon attempting to intervene on her husband's behalf, his 69-year-old wife claims that she too was struck and knocked unconscious.

In testimony, the 53-year-old man accused of carrying out the assault claims that, prior to the assault, he had consumed copious amounts of alcohol and was ignored by the couple when he attempted to sit at their table during dinner. He insists that he asked for an apology from the couple as they rode in an elevator and that things turned physical and violent after the 70-year-old man lashed out at him.

As a result of the assault, the 70 year old suffered painful injuries to his facial area. Additionally, the woman was treated for two broken vertebrae. While the 53-year-old defendant in the case admits to punching the man, he denies striking the man's wife.

In this case, the cruise line and members of the ship's crew could potentially be held liable for over serving the 53-year-old man. Additionally, claims of negligent security could be raised by the couple who suffered the assault.

Source: BBC.com, "Man accused of Middlesbrough couple cruise ship attack 'ashamed'," April 22, 2015

Daily Mail, "Elderly couple 'beaten unconscious by fellow cruise ship passenger in Canary Islands as they returned to their cabin to drink cocoa'," Chris Brooke and Jennifer Newton, April 21, 2015

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