A now paralyzed cruise ship worker has filed a civil lawsuit against two Carnival Corp. cruise ship subsidiaries seeking compensatory damages after a slip-and-fall injury in April. Citing the Jones Act, Antonio Sisca, a 28-year-old former professional dancer from Italy, seeks an unspecified monetary amount from Holland America Line (HAL) Maritime and Princess Cruise Lines. The Jones Act protects workers at sea and declares that companies must provide a safe place to work.
The case is being heard in U.S. federal court in Florida. Carnival Corp., however, requested the court send the case to arbitration. The cruise line company claims that such disputes must go through arbitration because Sisca worked under a Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA). Sisca, a member of the entertainment crew on the MS Vendaam, countered that since the accident occurred a day after his employment contract expired, the SEA does not apply.
Slip and fall led to paralysis
Sisca’s injury occurred on April 23 when the MS Vendaam deployed lifeboats in order to transfer European crew members to another Carnival Corp. ship, the Regal Princess for repatriation to the United Kingdom. The accident occurred after high winds and rough seas led to the lifeboats violently thrashing. Sisca slipped and fell, injuring his lower back.
Staff prescribed pain killers and informed him that he could continue to work his shift. Sisca’s condition progressively grew worse. Supervisors ignored his requests and did not allow Sisca to board a plane from Bermuda to Italy to schedule an examination with a spinal specialist. By the time he and the other European workers arrived in the United Kingdom on May 5, Sisca suffered from paralysis.