Refugia vs. Royal Caribbeans
Dade County Case No. 00-26162
Judge Michael Chavies
A 28-year-old Filipino waiter worked aboard the defendant’s vessel, Legend of the Seas. While serving lunch aboard the vessel, the plaintiff was required to carry a tray filled with 16 main courses and covers. The size of the tray and the courses blocked his view of what, if anything, was on his waiter’s stand. As such, the assistant waiter was supposed to keep the waiter stand clean. When the plaintiff started to put his tray down on the waiter stand, he felt a water glass on the stand. In trying to prevent the water glass from breaking under the weight of the tray and the tray from falling, the plaintiff tried to balance the tray and lift it back up. While doing this, he felt a “pop” in his left wrist.
As a result of ongoing pain in his left wrist, the defendant decided to sign the plaintiff off the ship for further medical treatment. The plaintiff had requested to be sent to Miami (as his brother was living in Florida at the time), however, the defendant denied this request and sent him to the Philippines for medical treatment. The plaintiff underwent surgery with a doctor selected by the defendant in the Philippines. The surgery resulted in the plaintiff not being able to turn his left wrist. The plaintiff then came to Miami, at his own expense, to obtain better medical treatment. In Miami, the defendant provided the plaintiff with a second surgery, which did not improve his condition. A third surgery was recommended by the defendant-selected Miami surgeon, however, the plaintiff was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) in his left arm subsequent to the first surgery which got worse after the second surgery. It was recommended to the Plaintiff that his RSD condition be controlled, via pain management procedures, prior to undergoing any further surgical procedures.
Case settled prior to trial: $560,000.00