Montana Smith was just 14 years old when the roof, quite literally, caved in upon her and her life was changed forever.
She was on a P&O Christmas voyage in with her family when she was struck by a metre-long section of the ceiling that had come loose.
The impact injured her cervical spine and she was forced to spend her teenage years taking pain killers everyday, just to manage school and work obligations.
After an eight-year legal battle, the NSW Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Ms Smith, now 21 years old, ordering that P&O pay more than $400,000 damages for the injury.
Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Smith expressed relief that she could now move past the tumultuous legal battle and move forward with her life.
“My whole teenage years were altered completely and I was dealing with regular teenage things such as the HSC, as well as my eight doctors, a legal case, 12 painkillers a day, the psychological effects of suffering an injury like this at 14, and accepting that I will live with pain most probably for the rest of my life,” she said.
“However, I am glad that the legal side of things are over. Now I can concentrate on moving towards having my neck surgery and recovering from that.”
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