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Two Cruise Suits Decided

January 18, 2007 By: David Eisen Travel Agent

Rulings on two lawsuits involving Royal Caribbean Cruises and its subsidiary Celebrity Cruises have been made. A Miami judge dismissed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean brought upon by the family of George Allen Smith IV who disappeared on a Brilliance of the Seas sailing in 2005 while on his honeymoon. His body was never found, but bloodstains were found on an awning underneath his cabin balcony. Smith's family contended that the cruise line tried to cover up the incident to avoid negative exposure. However, the news is not so good for Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises unit, which will not be entitled to $190 million after a judge tossed out all but $10 million stemming from a jury verdict ordering a company that makes water pumps to pay Celebrity in a case involving Legionnaires' disease on a cruise ship in 1994. Celebrity claimed that several passengers contracted the disease due to faulty water filters in a whirlpool spa and that the stigma hurt the company years after. Conversely, the judge pointed out that Celebrity did not identify one potential passenger or travel agent who declined to book a cruise because of the incident.

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