News 08.12.20

Carmen Y. Cartaya and Aleida M. Mielke Successfully Defend Maritime Client in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

Carmen Cartaya and Aleida Mielke successfully defended a maritime client in a bench trial in Miami in December 2019. The decision was issued on August 6, 2020.

The plaintiff, a former cosmetologist of the spa on a cruise ship, was seeking $6 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages for the employer’s alleged failure to provide Maintenance (living expenses) and Cure (medical payments).

The plaintiff alleged that she developed a cervical spine condition during her employment with the defendant, the operator of the spa.

The defendant established during the trial that all of the plaintiff’s medical conditions were pre-existing and she was not injured or ill during her employment. The defendant established (based on the three elements of the McCorpen v. Central Gulf SS Corp. case) that the plaintiff intentionally misrepresented or concealed medical facts, which were material to the employer’s decision to hire the plaintiff and a connection existed between the withheld information and the injury alleged in the lawsuit.

The plaintiff’s claims were barred and the Court entered Judgment in favor of the defendant.