Today a jury in Miami, Florida returned a verdict in the amount of $2,900,000 in favor of a disabled Royal Caribbean crew member who received terrible medical treatment after the cruise line sent her back to Honduras.
The case brings attention to the problem many Royal Caribbean crew members experience when they are injured while working for the cruise line. Royal Caribbean often sends their cruise employees back to third world countries, where the medical treatment is sub-standard, in order to save money. This cruise line can easily send their crew member to qualified doctors here in Miami but decides not to do so for economic reasons. The result is often horrific surgeries performed by unqualified doctors.
This is inexcusable, given the fact that Royal Caribbean has a net worth of $15 billion, collects over $6 billion a year, and pays no U.S. taxes.
In this case, Royal Caribbean sent a crew member with a knee injury to Honduras where the local surgeon committed medical malpractice during arthroscopic surgery, causing serious injuries to the ligaments in her knee. The doctor then botched a complete knee replacement which was not necessary in the first place.
We have written articles about this particular cruise line and its mistreatment of crew members: Cruise Ship Medicare Care - Royal Caribbean Gives Their Crew Members the Royal Shaft and Titanic Dreams - Royal Caribbean Wins Worst Cruise Lines in the World Award. Last September, I wrote that:
"Royal Caribbean has also adopted a strict keep-them-out-of-the-U.S. policy. The company saves money by sending its employee to places like Nicaragua and St. Vincent. But these places lack basic medical facilities and basic medicines. The crew member’s heath and life are compromised in the process."
The jury's verdict reflects that there is something fundamentally wrong with this cruise line's treatment of injured and indigent crew members from places like Nicaragua.
The crew member in this case was represented by the firm of Rivkind, Pedraza & Margulies. Royal Caribbean was represented by Curtis Mase.