Wife Defends $21 Million Payout After Cruise Ship Door Hit Her Husband on the Head

Seattle (INSIDE EDITION) The wife of a man who was awarded $21.5 million after his head was slammed by a sliding electric door on a luxury cruise liner is speaking out about how the incident changed him.

A Seattle jury awarded 56-year-old Jim Hausman the huge payout in a judgement settlement last month.

Hausman was on a Holland America luxury cruise liner, the M.S. Amsterdam, in 2011 when he was hit in the head.

His wife Carol told INSIDE EDITION: “The doctor originally just thought that it was a bump on the head. There was a laceration, and that he would just recover.”

The family continued on their round-the-world cruise, but when the trip was over, his condition worsened. He says he suffered permanent brain damage.

His wife explained: “Fatigue, headaches, increased emotionality -- he's not logical anymore. Irritability, mood swings and then he actually developed having seizures as well.”

He says he sued after he discovered that at least 16 passengers had been injured in similar ways by electric sliding doors on Holland America ships.

The Hausman's were also outraged that Holland America had hired a private detective to follow Jim around, secretly videotaping him to see if he was fibbing about his injuries. They apparently came up with nothing.

“I think they were trying to see him on a ladder changing a light bulb or something like that which he just doesn't do anymore,” Carol said.

Last month, the jury awarded Jim $21.5 million. The internet lit up with commentary.

“This judgment is excessive and way out of line,” was one tweet.

Another was: “It truly is sickening.”

“I need to go ram my head into a cruise ship door,” wrote another.

Carol responded: “It's unfortunate that what looks like a bump on the head has had such profound impact on our lives. He was full of life. He was funny. He was energetic. He was somebody who was a challenge to keep up with – that man's gone.”

Read: A Drunken Sailor Crashes 7,000-Ton Cargo Ship at Full Speed into Scotland Coast: Investigation

INSIDE EDITION asked Holland America for an interview and they sent us this reply: "Holland America line is committed to the safety and security of our guests and takes all incidents very seriously. We have no comment regarding the specifics of this lawsuit, other than we will be pursuing an appeal."

For more stories and videos, please visit INSIDE EDITION. Don't forget to watch INSIDE EDITION at 6:30 p.m. weekdays.

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