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 Brett Rivkindcrew 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.

  • Tino Codde

    In this case, I do agree with mr. Walker that the various cruise companies should improve their care regarding their employees. Unfortunately, this is a travel industry wide problem, fueled by ever increasing pressure to decrease costs to offer passengers ever cheaper “deals”. The vulgarisation of Aviation and Cruising has unfortunately also led to the downfall of the crew’s terms and conditions.

    Capt. Tino Codde

  • Hello Dear Jim,
    As You know, the same was happened to me..
    I was joined anboard to SOVEREIGN with good health,
    Send the Best wishes to lawer Brett Rivkind and the Brother-crew from ship’ Jewel of the Seas ‘..
    AS You know, i am jobless and helpless/defenceless.
    I do hope somebody will Help me-

    Yours Sincerely
    Ivan Dimitrov

  • manuel

    Señor.jim walkel me gusta mucho su comentario y su compañia yo soy de republica dominica y aqui suenan rumores que su compañia tiene alguno problema con alguno de su cliente para darle su compesacion es el caso de un señor apellidos rodriguez