35-year-old Genti Jankula, an Albanian man who worked as a waiter on the Carnival Valor cruise ship, may finally receive the money the company owes him after a tragic accident back in 2014.

December 7th, 2014 was Jankula’s first day aboard. While climbing up to his bunk, the handle he was gripping snapped off and he fell backwards, landing flat on his back. He had to go back home to receive medical treatment in Albania, where it was confirmed that he had sustained multiple spinal fractures. 

The aftermath

Cruise line workers are supposed to receive compensation from their employer to cover the cost of their food, housing and medical treatment until they fully recover. However, in Jankula’s case, Carnival stopped covering his treatment in 2015. Jankula sent six letters to the company to ask for more coverage, which they denied.

Taking action

The contract Carnival crew members must sign when they are hired prohibits them from taking legal action against the company in U.S. federal court. Instead, they must use a private arbitrator appointed by the company.

The arbitrator Carnival provided Jankula found that the company was negligent and ordered them to pay $1.4 million in damages intended to cover his medical treatment and lost wages, as well as to compensate for the pain and suffering he endured. Yet, the company still would not pay up.

Escalating the situation

Since Jankula hit a brick wall following the process Carnival outlined, he decided to sue the company in federal court in Miami, where it is headquartered. On September 18th, the court decided that Carnival must pay him.

Since a high court has sided with him, there is hope that Jankula will finally receive the compensation he deserves after a long battle. If you are a cruise ship employee in a similar situation and need help seeking compensation for injuries you sustained at work, contact the Law Offices of John W. Merting.