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Norwegian Cruise Line Wins $159 Million in Faulty Propulsion Case

After a four-week jury trail, Norwegian Cruise Line won a $159 million lawsuit against ABB – who provided Azipods propulsion systems for many of the company’s ships.

Norwegian was represented by Holland & Knight, who said in a press release that the case has significant implications for the cruise industry.

“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,” said Holland & Knight Partner Alex M. Gonzalez.

On October 20, a jury convened in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida decided in favor of the cruise line in its lawsuit against the U.S.-based company ABB Inc. and the Finland-based company ABB OY.

The case alleged that ABB purposefully misrepresented the reliability and safety of its Azipods, leading Norwegian Cruise Line to suffer Azipod failures.

These failures caused the company to lose propulsion and steering during voyages, causing substantial harm to Norwegian Cruise Line’s reputation and business, Holland & Knight said.

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.

In February 2017, a pod failure led the Norwegian Star to be towed during a 12-night cruise to Australia and New Zealand.

After limping around the region with cancelled port calls and modified itineraries due to propulsion problems, the 2001-built vessel became adrift in the Tasman Sea, with both of its ABB pods offline.

As a result, it had to be brought back to Melbourne with the help of tugboats.

The Norwegian Star also had pod issues in 2015, forcing a cruise cancellation.

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