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Royal Caribbean Lawsuits: One Win and One Settled

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It's been a good week for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL), which won one lawsuit and settled another. Both outcomes relieved the cruise line of responsibility for onship problems.

First, in a federal court suit in New York, a jury awarded Celebrity Cruise Lines, a RCCL subsidiary, $193 million. The losing party, Essef, was held responsible for a 1994 outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease. The judgment is likely to be appealed.

Legionnaire's Disease is caused by a bacteria and can lead to pneumonia. It is named after an outbreak at a Legionnaire's convention, in which the bacteria was in the ventilation system. In the Royal Caribbean case, Essef had provided a defective filter in the hot-tub system. Sixteen people got sick over nine weeks and one later died.

Second, providing "closure" to a highly publicized case, Royal Caribbean settled with Jennifer Hagel Smith. Her husband disappeared off a Royal Carribbean cruise a year ago during the couple's honeymoon. The case remains an unsolved mystery and the subject of constant speculation on some cable news outlets.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, as are the terms of most settlements. What has been disclosed is that Royal Caribbean will match a contribution by Jennifer Hagel Smith to the charity of Mrs. Smith's choice and they will continue to provide her with information relating to the disappearance.

The settlement is likely to adversely affect the search for truth about George Smith's disappearance. With Mrs. Smith and Royal Caribbean both trying to prove who is or is not responsible, the investigation would have been ratcheted into high gear. Now, a year later, with the trail cold, there's little motivation to do more than wait for new information to just pop up.

ADDENDUM:  Hours before RCCL settled with Mrs. Smith, George Smith's parents filed their own lawsuit against RCCL.

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About Justene Adamec

  • http://safecruise.blogspot.com SafeCruise

    Royal Caribbean Tries to Divide & Conquer Families of Victims by Settling Only With George Smith’s Widow and Not Entire Family

    Royal Caribbean and wife of George Smith reach settlement
    BY AMY MARTINEZ June 30, 2006 MiamiHerald dot com

    Royal Caribbean (RCCL) seeks to divide and conquer critics and families of victims by not settling with George Smith’s entire family. If they really cared about the families of victims and future passengers, they would settle with all of his family and one time and “they” would offer a reward for information that would help solve George Smith’s death. They do not seem to care if it is solved. Mr. Fain from RCCL said on Fox News last night that he is not sure when the last time RCCL and the FBI communicated about the case.

    Cruise lines have little or no legal obligation to settle because they are not regulated. RCCL is incorporated in Liberia and for many years they flagged their ships in Liberia. A country with a dysfunctional legal court system and no regulations or laws to protect cruise line employees, customers, or stockholders. The Cruise lines have poured millions of dollars into lobbying efforts, at times using lobbyist closely connected to Jack Abramoff and we know what kind of tactics he used. That along with many thousands of dollars of campaign contributions have kept congress from passing any meaningful regulations.

    Remember, they are giant gambling operations. Kind of like a floating crap game. And I have never known anyone who ran a crap game to be concerned with those gambling. Its used to be the only thing you could lose is your life, but with over 50 individuals missing or gone overboard, fires, and viruses since the year 2000, you could lose your life or health. Imagine if Disney World had 50 disappearances and/or deaths in the last 6 years. The only significant actions taken by the cruise lines in the last year was to spend more money on public relations efforts and issue new sets of talking points to their employees answering the phone when the subject of safety and security come up. They do like to suck as much money from their customers as they can. They also suck as much blood, sweat, and tears from their employees as possible by offering low wages and few benefits..

  • Wellsaid

    SafeCruise, I must say you spoke well. As an agency who has done business with Royal and it’s management for several years, I know where they stand and what are their intentions. I have seen the decline of the company especially since the last few years since they have had a change in the line up in the managements.
    I have seen how they loot their customers and also the hard working agents. Now it is all coming back to them.
    They are shrewed, evil and the only thing they care is customers money.
    If there is a God who sees their evil they will not be in business too long.
    From a very popular cruise line they have been reduced to offering $99 specials for 3rd and 4th passengers to fill their cabins.
    You saw evil, you will reap evil.
    Now to cover their evil they have gone and bought off Hagel Smith.

  • vicky

    Hello,
    I completly agree with the person that wrote comparing RCCL with evil, i´d like to give an advice about the time policy for the law suits, because in some part of their rotten law deals there is a three year policy to make a law suit…
    be carefull!!!!