Celebrity Cruises Hit with $2,500,000 Verdict

A blog discussing Goa India, and Miami's Daily Business Review, are reporting on a significant verdict that was recently reached against Miami-based Celebrity Cruises. 

The jury verdict involves a Celebrity crew member, Vincente Fernandes, from Goa, India. Back in September 2009, Mr. Fernandes was an assistant stateroom attendant on a Celebrity cruise ship. He alleges that there were shortages of sheets and towels for passenger cabins on the cruise ship. Cabin attendants had to compete to obtain them.

When Mr. Fernandes requested linens & towels to assist in preparing the passenger cabins, the linen keeper verbally abused him and then physically assaulted him. Fernandes was just 5 feet, 4 inches in height and weighed just 140 pounds. The linen manager who attacked him? He was twice Fernandes' size - 6 feet, 6 inches and weighed 280 pounds. Fernandes suffered a badly fractured leg which required surgery with the insertion of plates and screws.  

Celebrity flew Mr. Fernandes back home to Goa, India after the surgery. Celebrity paid no compensation to Fernandes and did not timely pay monies for the injured crew member's food and lodging, medical care, therapy or medication. Mr. Fernandes's lead trial lawyer, Ervin A. Gonzalez of the Colson Hicks law firm, assisted by Christopher Drury and Tonya Meister, argued that Fernandes suffered a deformed leg which will need several additional operations, including a knee replacement. 

The trial addressed only the issue of compensation. The trial court, the Honorable David Miller, struck the cruise line's defenses for pre-trial discovery violations. 

The cruise line was defended by David Horr and Eddie Hernandez of the Horr, Novak & Skipp law firm.

The jury awarded a total of slightly over $2,496,000 in damages, consisting of $1,750,000 in pain and suffering & mental anguish, $350,625 for medical expenses, and $395,400 for lost wages and loss of earning capacity.

Mr. Fernandes counsel, Ervin Gonzalez, summed the case up as follows: 

"Celebrity pounded Mr. Fernandes, a five foot four and 140 pound cabin steward, to a pulp, through its employee, a six foot six 280 pound assistant linen manager brute. As a result, Mr. Fernandez's leg was shattered. His knee was destroyed and will need to be replaced in ten years. The 2.5 million dollar verdict cannot replace his knee and make him healthy but it will at least help him find economic stability. Without the civil justice system, Mr. Fernandes would be broken, financially devastated and discarded."

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
xyz - September 27, 2013 9:07 AM

These cruise line executives will rot in hell, one day. on one hand they get multi million $$$ bonuses but pay the crew " peanuts".

How can 1 Euro= 1 $. This was the maths applied when Costa cruises changed the currency from Euro to Dollar and soon after all these disasters are happening to Carnival.

150 waiters on Arcadia were sacked for protesting low wages and are now blacklisted.they were being paid £270 per month fixed and rest they earn were tips...due to recession passengers were giving less tips so instead of getting the recommended tips of around £700 there were not even getting half of that, after working more than 300 hours a months, 3 shifts a day for 270 days continuos...no offs

FRANCISCO ARNAU - September 27, 2013 3:51 PM

As a spaniard maritime lawyer and former Counsellor of Spain before the ILO I would recomend you to take into account the MASTER CONVENTON ON MARITIME LABOUR 2006 which entered into force in August.It is an UNIVERSAL LAW due to be signed by more than 40 countries. Regards

Hhmm...I wonder if this was tied to any outbreaks? - September 29, 2013 2:05 PM

Another question that should be asked - "Did this incident of not having enough linens occur during an outbreak? And was it the same condition on other Celebrity ships?"

It would be interesting to know if ships with outbreaks were also ships with not enough linens? After all, if they don't have enough linens, what do you think they are going to use for sheets and towels? Yep - used, dirty stuff. Think about it - how many times have you went to your stateroom on the first day and were missing sheets or towels? NONE! So if they are short of linens and towels their only option is to reuse dirty stuff. Which then makes me wonder if this could be traced back to ships with outbreaks?

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