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Holland & Knight Wins $159 Million Judgement for Norwegian Cruise Line in Faulty Propulsion Case

Holland & Knight recently won a four-week jury trial for client Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) that has significant implications for the cruise industry. On October 20, a jury convened in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida awarded NCL $159 million in its lawsuit against ABB Inc., a U.S. company, and ABB OY, a Finnish company, related to fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations and omissions ABB made about their propulsion systems (Azipods) that are used aboard many of NCL’s cruise ships.

The suit alleged that ABB purposefully misrepresented the reliability and safety of its Azipods, leading NCL to suffer Azipod failures. These failures caused NCL to lose propulsion and steering during voyages, imperiling the safety of passengers and crew, and causing substantial harm to NCL’s reputation and business.  

The final award includes $31.75 million in compensatory damages, plus an additional $31.75 million in punitive damages against ABB Oy and $95.25 million in punitive damages against ABB Inc. To date, the award is the largest in Florida in 2022, according to Verdict Search.

“This is a case about fraud and negligent misrepresentation and omissions that ruined the cruises of tens of thousands of passengers and damaged NCL’s business," said Holland & Knight partner Alex M. Gonzalez. "The defendants knew that they had a problem with a critical component that impacted the safety of countless passengers and crew and they hid and lied about it. This verdict sends an important message that you can’t conceal or misrepresent critical information from customers like NCL and other cruise lines. NCL feels fully vindicated by this verdict.”

Holland & Knight partners Alex M. Gonzalez, Israel Encinosa and Cary Aronovitz led the firm’s representation of NCL. They were assisted by associates Vanessa Lopez, Kayla Pragid and Anthony Sirven. 

Read more about the case in Law360Daily Business Review, and Lloyd's List (subscriptions may be required).

About Holland & Knight LLP:  Holland & Knight is a global law firm with approximately 1,700 lawyers and other professionals in 32 offices worldwide. The firm's lawyers and advisors provide representation in litigation, corporate and finance, real estate and governmental matters. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with efficient access to attorneys throughout the firm. www.hklaw.com