Disney Cruise Line (DCL) must pay a former employee $4 million dollars, a jury in Brevard County, Florida ruled. Back in September 2013, Maria Ana Reis Martins was a dining room server about the Disney Dream cruise ship (Dream) that sailed to the Caribbean from Port Canaveral.
A car hit Martins while she was on shore in Nassau, Bahamas, breaking three (3) of her ribs. The ship’s medical team failed to diagnose her fractures and found she was fit for work, so she continued to serve tables for 10 days.
A doctor in Florida discovered she had broken 3 of her ribs and Disney sent her home to Portugal to receive treatment for five (5) months. Martins returned to work on the Dream in April 2014, however, she had to leave only a month later after complaining about the pain in her ribs.
She returned to Portugal and was diagnosed with nerve damage. Martins sued DCL in December 20215. Martins’ attorney Julio Ayala argued before a jury earlier this month that DCL was negligent and failed to provide adequate medical care.
DCL argued that it had fulfilled its duties of care under maritime law. After 5 hours of deliberation on the 19th December, jurors found that DCL had to pay Martins in $1 million dollars for pain and suffering, $2 million dollars for lost earnings and $1 million as punishment.
The jury attributed 70% of negligence associated with Martins’ injury to DCL and 30% to Martins. This verdict marks the first jury trail against DCL for the personal injury of a ship worker, according to Ayala.
We’ve reached out to DCL for comment about the verdict. According to the Miami Herald, the company has not yet appealed the decision.
Source: Miami Herald