Today, a jury here in Miami, Florida returned a verdict over $6,200,000 on behalf of a seriously injured crew member.
The crew members is from Haiti and worked as a cleaner on the Jewel of the Seas.
He sustained a serious back injury due to the repetitive nature of his work and the long hours which crew members are required to work.
After the crew member sustained injury, Royal Caribbean sent the crew member to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic for medical treatment. There a surgeon performed a back fusion. The crew member’s lawyer alleged that the surgery was unnecessary and caused the crew member unnecessary and additional injuries.
We have written about the medical facilities in Santo Dominican before. Rather than fly the injured crew members to Miami, where the cruise line in headquartered and the executives reside, the cruise line often sends their ship employees to the Dominican Republic where the medical expenses are substantially cheaper although the treatment is substantially inferior.
We have discussed the sub-standard medical facilities in Santo Domingo before. A jury in Miami previously returned a $1,000,000 verdict for a Celebrity crew member who underwent a crippling, unnecessary pacemaker surgery.
Royal Caribbean tries to save money by keeping its ill and injured crew members out of Miami, and this is often the result. Read: Cruise Ship Medical Care – Royal Caribbean Gives Their Crew Members the Royal Shaft.
Royal Caribbean reportedly made no settlement offer before trial.
The jury returned a verdict for the crew member finding that Royal Caribbean was negligent under the Jones Act, the vessel was unseaworthy, and the cruise line failed to provide prompt and adequate medical treatment.
The crew member was represented by Miami maritime lawyer Brett Rivkind, photo above.
The total verdict was in the amount of $6,282,261.
The cruise lawyer was defended by defense lawyer David Horr.