Holland & Knight wins US$159 million judgment for NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line in faulty ABB propulsion case

   November 9, 2022 ,   Accidents

Holland & Knight won a 4-week jury trial for NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line that has significant implications for the industry.

On October 20, 2022, a jury convened in Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit awarded NCL US$159 million in its lawsuit against the U.S. company ABB Inc. and Finnish company ABB OY, related to "fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations and omissions" ABB had made about its Azipods (electric propulsion systems) used aboard many of NCL's ships.

In a statement, Holland & Knight said the suit alleged that ABB had "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 US$31.75 million in compensatory damages, plus an additional US$31.75 million in punitive damages against ABB OY and US$95.25 million in punitive damages against ABB Inc.

To date, the award is Florida's largest in 2022.

Norwegian Viva cruise ship

Alex M. Gonzalez (Holland & Knight Partner) said that was "a case about fraud and negligent misrepresentation and omissions that ruined the cruises of tens of thousands of passengers and damaged NCL's business." 

"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."