Injured Carnival Cruise Crew Member Gets $1.3M
An injured Carnival Cruise member received $1.3 million from Carnival Cruise after the company initially refused to pay his medical expenses. Genti Jenkula from Albania suffered severe spinal and back injuries from a fall he suffered while on duty.
Jenkula had won an arbitration agreement for around the same amount, but in September of 2018, but claims that Carnival ignored the duty to pay the award. Carnival claims that the arbitrator was “unfair” and did not listen to their arguments. A year later, a federal judge ordered Carnival to pay up at an interest rate of $186 per day. It is also likely that Jenkula will be compensated for his legal expenses related to filing a second complaint to recover the initial award settlement.
According to the complaint, Jenkula had been a longtime employee of Carnival Cruises. Jenkula was attempting to climb into his crew bunk when the handle tore off the bed and sent him falling downward. Carnival sent him back to Albania where he was treated for his injuries. Doctors said he had multiple spinal fractures.
A few months later, Carnival stopped paying Jenkula for medical treatment. In 2015, Jenkula filed a lawsuit against Carnival to pay up for the injuries he suffered while acting in his duties as an employee of the cruise line. The case went to arbitration where an arbitrator ordered Carnival to pay roughly $1.4 million for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. Carnival didn’t like the decision and simply refused to pay, which is unusual. Jenkula then took his claim to federal court where the judge ordered Carnival to pay with interest.
Jenkula suffered the injury in late 2014. Beyond what Carnival was willing to pay at the beginning of the claim, Jenkula has not received any money from Carnival until the decision was rendered by the federal judge in September of 2019.
The question of whether or not workers’ compensation applies to cruise lines is a complex one. For American workers, it certainly does. However, those who are employed by cruise lines outside of the U.S. only have recourse to sue them in U.S. courts. That means that they have to retain U.S. counsel to file their lawsuit. It’s easy for a large American company like Carnival to get away with hiring foreign nationals and then balking at paying them for injuries they sustained while on the job.
An American maritime worker would be covered by a very generous workers’ compensation fund. However, workers who are not covered by this fund only have recourse to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In places like the Philippines, workers face several obstacles when trying to filing claims against their employers.
Talk to a Maritime Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured on a cruise ship, either as a passenger or a worker, Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford can file a claim on your behalf. Talk to us today to set up a free consultation.