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Disney Cruise Line Worker Awarded $4M for Inadequate Medical Care


A Disney Cruise Line worker was awarded $4 million in a personal injury lawsuit filed against her employer. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was injured when she was struck by a car in the Bahamas. Despite the fact that she sustained three broken ribs in the accident, the Carnival medical staff told her she was fit to go back to work. The medical team’s staff failed to diagnose her injuries correctly and ordered her back to work aboard the cruise vessel. She filed a lawsuit against Disney Cruise Line alleging that she sustained serious injuries as a result of the car accident and should have been relieved of her duties.

She was awarded $2 million for lost earnings, $1 million for pain and suffering, and another $1 million for punitive damages that are levied against a defendant to punish them for wrongdoing. The jury assigned 70% of the blame to Disney Cruises and 30% of the blame to the plaintiff.

It was reportedly the first time Disney Cruises lost a lawsuit filed by an employee for negligence.

Medical injuries filed against cruise lines 

Large cruise lines have medical teams on hand to render aid to victims of injuries and sickness that befall them while they are cruising. In these cases, the company that employs the doctor is responsible for the quality of care that is given to the plaintiff. In this case, they failed to accurately diagnose that the plaintiff sustained three broken ribs. After being diagnosed with broken ribs by another doctor, the plaintiff flew home to her native Portugal and required five months of medical leave. When she came back, she had to take more time off of work due to nerve damage sustained from the initial accident.

The jury held Disney Cruises liable for failing to provide her with adequate medical treatment related to her injuries. They also faulted the company for forcing her to return to work with three broken ribs.

Workers’ compensation immunity 

While a shorebound employee would never be able to file a lawsuit against their employer, the same does not hold true for cruise ships. Cruise ships operate on a different system entirely and employees can file lawsuits directly against their employers if their employers are negligent. In this case, a jury found that the quality of medical care that the employee received was substandard and held Disney Cruise Lines liable for failing to render adequate medical care to the plaintiff. She was awarded both compensatory and punitive damages which are levied against a defendant when they have committed some form of gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing.

Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Today 

If you have been injured aboard a cruise ship, the cruise ship’s medical staff will treat that injury. If they fail in their duty of care to render adequate aid, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the cruise line. Michael F. Guilford, P.A. can help you file a lawsuit against a negligent cruise line. Call our Miami admiralty & maritime lawyers today for more details.



  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

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