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A cruise ship worker wins $10.3 million for spine injuries

A Celebrity Cruises worker was awarded $10.3 million for spinal injuries he suffered on the job this week in Miami.

According to the court filings in this case, the Croatian man had been working in the pantry of the cruise ship Eclipse back in July 2015. The water vessel then unexpectedly came into some rough waters. This caused the bread trolly that he’d been using to roll, tip over and make contact with his back.

In his filing, the man, who worked as a maitre d’ in one of the ship’s restaurants, noted that his employer provided him with immediate medical care while aboard the ship. They then continued to allow him to see doctors after that. He noted that his condition still deteriorated. He was later diagnosed with central pain syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord, brainstem and brain itself.

The injured cruise ship worker initially pursued arbitration in an attempt to resolve his differences with his employer, as this was required in his employment contract. Both parties agreed to allow United States maritime law to prevail in their matter.

Negotiations broke down at some point between June 19, 2018, and December 17, 2018, though. Celebrity Cruises accused the arbitrator of impropriety and requested his removal from the case. The International Centre for Dispute Resolution denied their request.

By June 6, the arbitrator had decided to award the worker $10.3 million. He said that he made that ruling, in part, because the cruise line failed to produce the incident report and pictures that had been requested. They also failed to identify the bread cart that had caused the worker’s injuries.

The injured worker has since requested a confirmation of the award by a federal judge. It’s unclear if Celebrity Cruises will appeal the case.

Individuals who employed at sea are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries as they often work in tight, cramped spaces. There’s little space to maneuver about and equipment is often stocked high. It’s easy for a worker to get hurt if there are rough seas or while they’re climbing to get something.

It can be costly to get the medical care that you need, especially if you can’t work. A maritime accidents attorney can fight for your rights so that you don’t have to be left to struggle with the financial fallout resulting from your on-the-job injuries in Louisiana.