Articles Tagged with “Crewmember Injury Lawyer”

Crew Injury Lawyer.jpgFor the past six years, cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian (NCL) have attempted to require their crewmembers who get hurt on the job to forgo the right to jury trial and compel them to have arbitrators decide what compensation they deserve. Most times the cruise lines bury this jury trial waiver / arbitration provision in the employment contract’s fine print. Worst still, cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, have language in the employment contracts that references the terms of collective bargaining agreement are incorporated into the employment agreement. The problem is the seamen have no representation in the “union” who negotiated the collective bargaining agreement and are often not given a copy of the collective bargaining agreement. As such, many seafarers have no idea they are waiving their jury trial rights.

The purpose of this article is to provide a brief summary on the cruise lines’ efforts in compelling crewmember personal injury claim to arbitration and the recent order obtained by Brais & Brais remanding a seafarer’s case to a Miami, Florida State court for jury trial.

The Bautista v. Star Cruises Opinion

Our clients often ask us if their employer (whether it is a cruise line or shipping firm) can fire them for simply filing a maritime personal injury lawsuit. Our answer is that they can, but they will open themselves up to a claim for retaliatory discharge.

Tugboat.jpgMaritime law provides a seaman crew member a claim for “retaliatory discharge” where his “employer’s decision to discharge him was motivated, in substantial part, by the knowledge that the seaman intends to, or has, filed a personal injury action against the employer.” Baiton v. Carnival Cruise Lines

Should the maritime employer fire a seaman crew member in retaliation to filing or the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit, the law entitles the seaman crewmember compensatory damages. Compensatory damages include the seaman crew member’s expenses of finding new employment, lost earnings while he/she seeks another position, and lost future earnings if the seaman crew member’s new job pays less than that earned while the he/she was employed by the company that wrongly fired him/her. In addition to these compensatory economic losses, the discharged seaman crew member may be entitled to recover compensatory damages for mental anguish that he/she may suffer as a result of the wrongful discharge.