Five years after an arbitration award was entered against Carnival Cruise Line, an injured crew member will finally receive payment for what the company owes him for his damages. The case involves 35-year-old Albanian waiter Genti Jankula, who was seriously injured while on board a Carnival ship in 2014. Even though he won an award in arbitration in the amount of $1,357,831.40 in September 2018, Carnival Cruise Line refused to pay.

Carnival’s refusal to pay the arbitration award was based on their argument that the arbitrator did not treat them fairly. However, all awards issued in arbitration are binding on both parties involved, which is why the injured employee was forced to pursue enforcement legally. A federal judge in Miami has ordered Carnival to pay Jankula the full amount plus $186 per day in interest.

Jankula was working for Carnival Cruise Line in 2014 while on the Carnival Valor. On December 7, 2014, as he was attempting to climb into his bunk bed, the bed’s handle ripped off the wall, and he fell backwards, breaking his back. As an Albanian native, he was sent to Albania to receive treatment, where it was determined that he had suffered multiple spinal injuries from the fall.

The company paid for his medical treatment until 2015 when Jankula hired an attorney to represent him. His attorney argued that as a ship worker, he was entitled to housing, food, and medical costs until he was fully recovered from his injuries. However, Carnival refused his legal counsel’s request, forcing Jankula to request that an arbitrator hear the matter in July 2016. Arbitration was a requirement since it is a mandatory clause in all Carnival crew member employment contracts. Since Carnival is a Panamanian company headquartered in Miami, this meant the private arbitrator had to hear the issue using Panamanian law.

The parties used an arbitrator in Monaco, who ruled in September 2018, that Carnival was negligent. They were ordered to pay $1.4 million for medical expenses, loss of earnings and pain and suffering. However, Carnival contested the decision saying that the arbitrator treated them unfairly, even though they were the reason arbitration was used.

Carnival persisted to refuse to pay Jankula who filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami in November 2018. The formal ruling was issued by U.S. District Judge Ursual Ungaro on September 18, where it was ordered that Carnival must pay Jankula the full amount awarded plus interest.


Cruise lines are responsible for the injuries that passengers sustain on and off the ship. Florida law is clear that cruise lines have a non-delegable responsibility to make sure that passengers are safe when being transported between the ship and shore.

If you have been injured on a cruise ship, tender or in port, it is important that you seek immediate medical care and report the incident. Cruise lines often defend cases based upon a “lack of reported incident.” Also, immediately consult with an experienced passenger injury lawyer who is admitted to practice in Federal Court.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for injured cruise ship passengers. We are constantly filing lawsuits against Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and other cruise lines around the world in Federal Court. Since 1991, our law firm has helped injured passengers hold the cruise lines accountable. We work hard to get our clients compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. The cruise lines are part of multi-billion dollar industry and employ the most aggressive and experienced maritime lawyers–which is why you need experienced legal counsel on your side too. Call Spencer Aronfeld today, Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer.

Source: Miami Herald – September 25, 2019 (Tourism & Cruises)