Celebrity Cruises Crewmember Awarded $2.5m in Damages

September 27, 2013
Update, 9/28/13, 5 p.m. EDT -- Celebrity Cruises has issued the following statement regarding the verdict: "Celebrity Cruises believes the pretrial sanctions put us at a disadvantage in the Vincente Fernandes case. We will pursue the full extent of our appellate rights and are optimistic our position will prevail. There are two sides to every story, and unfortunately, due to the unfair sanctions, the jury did not get to hear our side."

(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- A Celebrity Cruises' crewmember has been awarded $2.5 million in damages after a court in Miami upheld his complaint against a fellow crewmember who broke his leg, Miami's Daily Business Review is reporting.

Vincente Fernandes, a cabin steward weighing 140 pounds and standing 5 feet, 4 inches tall, claims he was attacked by a 6-foot, 6-inch, 280-pound assistant linen manager after Fernandes requested linen and towels to complete his job of making up a cabin, according to his testimony.

He said competition for linen and towels was so fierce onboard that the linen keeper became upset at his request and started abusing him verbally. He claimed the linen manager then picked him up and threw him onto a trolley, fracturing his right leg.

Fernandes had surgery in Spain the next day after the Celebrity Century reached port, and plates and screws were implanted.

Fernandes said Celebrity then sent him home to Goa, India, with no compensation for shelter, food, medical care, surgery, therapy or medication. In his complaint, he said he suffered severely as a result of Celebrity's negligence, including a deformed right leg that will require several additional operations.

The jury awarded a slightly over $2,496,000 in damages, which consisted of $1,750,000 in pain and suffering and mental anguish, $350,625 for medical expenses, and $395,400 for lost wages and loss of earning capacity.

--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor