Home / National News / Cruise Ship Company Planning to Appeal 'Excessive' $21.5M Judgment


(NEW YORK) — A cruise ship company is planning to appeal a decision that awarded a passenger over $21 million after a sliding-door closed on the side of his head.

James Hausman, 61, and wife Carol of Springfield, Illinois, were on Holland America’s MS Amsterdam ship in 2011 on an around-the-world cruise when the incident occurred.

Video of the incident shows the moment the doors close, clipping Hausman on the temple. He then wobbles before looking at his wife and trying to regain his composure.

After a nine-day trial, a federal jury last month awarded Hausman $21.5 million for his injuries, $5 million for future and past pain and suffering, and $16.5 million as punitive damages against the cruise line.

Hausman’s attorney, Rick Friedman, argued at the trial that Hausman’s concussion was one of possibly dozens of other sliding-door injuries aboard Holland America’s ships. Sixteen of those incidents were declared admissible by the judge.

Holland America said in a statement it will appeal the decision, calling it “excessive.”

“Holland America Line is committed to the safety and security of our guests and take all incidents very seriously,” the statement read. “We have no comment regarding the specifics of this lawsuit, other than we will be pursuing an appeal.”

Carol Hausman says her husband now has memory problems and seizures and that she would swap all of the money awarded by the jury to have her old husband back.

“He has memory problems,” Hausman told ABC News. “He has seizures now.”

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