Judge Dismisses Amended George Smith Family Law Suit again Against Royal Caribbean … Its no Hagel-Smith Settlement


A Miami judge, Judge Jon Gordon, dismissed the amended law suit “with prejudice” that wasGeorge smith filed by the parents and sister of missing George Smith against Royal Caribbean. A previous law suit had been dismissed as well.  What a fine precedent this sets for future families of cruise ship crime. Is it any wonder why so many crimes aboard cruise ships go unsolved.

The Smith family sued Royal Caribbean stating that they tried to cover up the incident of George Smith’s disappearance. Royal Caribbean, the Miami based Cruise ship company has stated that they had exceeded their legal requirements in dealing with the missing George Smith.

The FBI is still investigating. Smith’s parents and sister alleged in their lawsuit that the cruise company tried to cover up the incident to avoid liability and negative publicity.

Royal Caribbean representatives have said the cruise line exceeded its legal requirements when it contacted the FBI and other authorities immediately after learning about Smith’s disappearance. (Forbes)

Judge Jon Gordon had dismissed this law suit with prejudice which means the law suit cannot be re-filed; however, it can be appealed. The Smith family attorney, Brett Rivkind, said that they would appeal the ruling.

“We think the decision is not well-reasoned,” Rivkind said. “We’re confident an appeal court will conclude that the conduct that has been alleged is sufficient to rise to a level of outrageous conduct. A jury should decide.” (Boston Globe)


It is rather peculiar that in a day and age with all the frivolous law suits that are allowed to go forward in the US and Florida that this case is dismissed? Dismissed with prejudice in fact. This would appear to be the type of case that a jury should hear, not a judge’s single ruling. If the Smith family is stating that Royal Caribbean performed “outrageous conduct” and Royal Caribbean thinks they exceeded its legal requirement, then what does Royal Caribbean have to fear by going to trial? Just another cover up at all cost in the name of the tourist dollar. Its a shame what happens to common families when they try to find out what has happened to their missing loved ones when tourism is involved.

The case of missing Honeymooner, George Allen Smith, goes beyond a legal one for Royal Caribbean. It is as much a PR battle as anything. Interesting that Royal Caribbean was fine with making an over one million dollar cash settlement with the wife of George Smith, Jennifer Hagel Smith, but wants no part of actually going to trial with this case. Royal Caribbean would pay off Jennifer Hagel-Smith, but not want to defend in court their position. Instead they cower behind a judge’s dismissal ruling.

What an example this sets for future families of missing people and crimes aboard cruise George smith bloodships, “You better settle or else”. So families have no recourse against the billion dollar cruise industry? There is supposed to be no justice? Only monetary pay-off settlements to protect their precious tourism. Families that stand up and say to the cruise lines … we do not want your money … we want answers … are then punished. THAT’S JUSTICE???

Royal Caribbean agreed this month to pay more than $1 million to Smith’s estate. His widow accepted the deal, but his parents and sister dismissed it as a “sellout.”

Maybe the next time anyone things of going on vacation or going on a cruise you may want to remember the following words from Royal Caribbean representatives as this is what they think of all of us, “the cruise line exceeded its legal requirements”. Key word is “requirement”. Not that they cared to really help or get to the bottom of why one of their passengers was missing with a blood stain below his cabin. Only that they met the bare minimum of what was required. Exceeded? Hardly. 


If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Jennifer Hagel Smith and Royal Caribbean Reach Settlement in Missing Honeymooner George Smith case
  • Smith – Hagel Family Feud has Developed after Jennifer Hagel Smith Settled with Royal Caribbean
  • Royal Caribbean to Pay George Smith Estate Over 1 Million Dollars in Settlement
  • The Widow of Missing George Smith aboard Mediterranean Sea Cruise Ship Jennifer Hagel Smith to Remarry .. 29 Year Old Financial Analyst Jeff Agne
  • Royal Caribbean Looking to Dismiss Lawsuit filed by family of Missing George Allen Smith

  • Comments

    21 Responses to “Judge Dismisses Amended George Smith Family Law Suit again Against Royal Caribbean … Its no Hagel-Smith Settlement”

    1. Miss-Underestimated on January 18th, 2007 2:33 pm

      Well, wallets talk more than mouths. There should be travel advisories about Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

      Is there anyway that this can be listed on Safe Travels?
      Hey enuff is enuff, these businesses cannot pay off and proceed as business as usual.


    2. Big Lou on January 18th, 2007 6:43 pm

      Miss-Underestimated: I agree 100%. All Americans have to boycott these places until it is save to travel there. The FBI has had this case for over a year now. Why no arrests?

    3. Maggie on January 18th, 2007 6:55 pm

      I feel so bad for George’s parents and sister. They have tried and tried to simply get answers to what happened to their son and brother. It was never about the money to them. They still know, no more than they did at the start and seems they may never know. I really think the wife would be demanding to get all the answers she could. what a cop out..

    4. Richard on January 18th, 2007 7:23 pm

      Royal Caribbean is the same cruise line from which Amy Bradley disappeared.

      The award to the wife was in essence a bribe to get rid of pressure from the Smith family. Imagine the black eye for the cruise line if it were found that they were negligent … or worse … in the George Smith case.

      I’m proud to say that I am personally acquainted with the Smiths, and am certain that they, like the Bradleys, are NOT giving up on their campaign to find answers.

    5. david r on January 18th, 2007 9:55 pm

      I read on a blog that the elder Smith was recently overheard at the supermarket, asking on a cell phone if his daughter in law was going to be arrested soon.

    6. Sharon/TX on January 19th, 2007 6:34 am

      Hi Richard, I enjoy your posts. We also sent our son on his honeymoon on the Rhapsody. I could not imagine being George Smith’s parents and not being privy to answers. We’ve enjoyed the Rhapsody but perhaps it’s best that it is leaving Galveston for Asia. It will leave behind many questions regarding Amy and George… ones that I pray we hear answers on. Cruisebruise.com is an eye opener. Every parent deserves answers and justice that has a missing child/person. My prayers are with them.

    7. Miss-Underestimated on January 19th, 2007 9:19 am


      Tell them to keep at it. We are behind them

    8. Big Lou on January 19th, 2007 11:33 am

      Richard: Tell them never to give up.Do you have any info on what the FBI are doing about the case? I say it’s time they make an arrest. It is obvious he was killed by the last 4 who were with him.

    9. Judy Alvarez on January 19th, 2007 5:18 pm

      Regarding comment 4 by Richard, the Bradley family never “gave up” on their efforts to find their daughter Amy who disappeared on another Royal cruise ship. Their lawsuit against the cruise line was dismissed, just like the Smith’s case, and they were eventually penalized by the court and ordered to pay the cruise line lawyer bills. Nonetheless, the Bradleys remain looking for answers and are still offering a 250K reward:


      Also, why criticize the wife? She hired Dr. Henry Lee, is offering a reward for information, and will more obtain more info in the settlement?

    10. Bree Smith on January 19th, 2007 9:02 pm

      My family and I would like to thank RED, Tom, Dana, Richard and other commentators on scaredmonkeys for their support. Knowing that so many people have our family and George in their thoughts and prayers means a lot to us.

      The second dismissal of our individual claims in Florida was obviously disheartening but please know that we will continue our fight to get justice for George.

    11. Sharon/TX on January 20th, 2007 10:58 am

      To #10, bless you Bree Smith, the public is watching. To poster #9, Judy, you state “Regarding comment #4 by Richard, the Bradley family never “gave up” on their efforts to find their daughtrer Amy who disappeared on another Royal cruise ship.” Sorry, but Amy Bradley and George Smith BOTH went missing from Rhapsody of the Seas, same ship, different ports. If my son went missing on his honeymoon and I found out my new daughter-in-law was passed out in a hall, drinking with other men, etc. I think I would have a few concerns and questions also. This case breaks my heart for George Smith’s family family.

    12. Richard on January 21st, 2007 7:16 am

      The Los Angeles Times yesterday (Jan. 20)ran a front-page story on the evils of the cruise lines, and referred to several recent cases. Bree Smith was also quoted.

      I don’t have the link at hand, but I’m sure it will be easy to find for those so inclined. Give it a read.

    13. Richard on January 21st, 2007 8:52 am

      Some other papers are picking up on the Los Angeles Times article. Here’s a link to what appears to be the same article, in full, run today in a Florida newspaper:


    14. Judy Alvarez on January 21st, 2007 9:41 am

      Sharon, George Smith was on the Brilliance of the Seas. My heart goes out to the Smith family of course, but piling on the daughter-in-law lets the real culprits, the cruise line and the men last seen with George, off of the hook. It just plays into the cruise ship’s defense of attack the victim . . .

    15. Sharon/TX on January 27th, 2007 5:19 pm

      Sorry, you are correct – it was the Brilliance.

    16. John on January 30th, 2007 4:08 pm

      This is ridiculous. The facts indicate that George and Jennifer Smith were way over the limit intoxicated. No one has suggested anything that RC could have done to PREVENT George’s death. Whether George was killed or fell overboard could not have been prevented by RC. RC did a less than stellar job of PR in the matter but the fact is that there is no evidence that George Smiths death was the result of anything that RC did or did not do. That is why the FBI nor anyone else has done anything to RC. passengers on cruise ships have a duty to act responsibly for their own safety.

    17. jack on June 6th, 2007 7:34 pm

      I don’t work for or own stock in a cruise line, and I have to agree with #16. Precisely how is RC directly responsible for Mr. Smith’s very sad demise? What do some of you folks think, that behavior is totally free, nothing has consequences? That just because something bad happened, that someone owes a pile of money? I am most frightened by the prospect of these “gimmee,gimmee” people voting.

    18. Fools Gold on August 1st, 2007 3:57 am

      I would wonder what standing the parents have to sue for damages suffered by their adult son. Any cause of action should be under the control of his brand new wife and no one else.

      Aside from drunken activities for which the ship is sought to be held liable as an innkeeper, the ship is sought to be held liable for insufficient forensic concern. This is a strange theory of liability and seems not to be a tort against his parents.

    19. debra on August 1st, 2007 7:44 pm

      I have to agree with John. While RC’s PR department is pathetic, George and Jennifer Smith were highly intoxicated most of the trip. The blame for George’s death lies squarely on his shoulders. The Smiths need to stop blaming the cruise line and accept that George and Jennifer exhibited poor behavior and judgment on their honeymoon.

    20. Susanne VandenBussche on August 19th, 2007 6:28 am


      I was a crew member and signed on with RCCL in November 2005 as an entertainer/DJ/MC.
      It truly was a “sweatshop at sea”
      I performed 15-17 hours per day, got 3-4 hrs sleep and only had time for one dashed meal a day.
      To enter the VCL DJ BOOTH on THE LEGEND OF THE SEAS- I had to climb a ships ladder a floor and a half into the sky.
      One day when I was descending from the booth I slipped and in order to break my fall; I ended up breaking my knee and tearing the ligaments. This was confirmed by the ships DR by two separate sets of XRAYS.
      An hour after docking in Tampa- I was wrongfully terminated and given ONE HOUR to pack 6 months worth of belongings and equipment.
      When I asked “What about my knee?” the cruise director- Mike Hungerford said my broken knee was not RCCL problem or liability.
      I was given $500 cash and a o/way tkt back to Canada.
      I would have returned to Vancouver-for certain; however he refused to let the Ships Doctor to perscribe pain meds-so I could make the 12 hour journey ( I had been receiving 5 pain tablets per day since the injury)

      In excruciating pain- without assistance with 5 heavy bags- as I was disbarking from ship- I was confronted by THE HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR- Diane- and several security officers and ordered to return my XRAY’s and reports. My bags were taken into a room and the medical documents and films were confiscated.

      In too much pain to travel- I asked the taxi driver to take me to the cheapest motel- where I laid for 3 weeks- trying to heal myself.
      Two weeks before Christmas 2005- I ran out of money and since then have had to sell every possession I had of value (at a great loss) in order to survive.
      I spent Christmas destitute in a deplorable filthy homeless shelter…three days after XMAS – I checked myself into a hospital as I was truly suicidal. After ten days there-
      they HAD TO Discharge me- as “I was not crazy”.
      I have been to hell and back many times in the past 20 months trying to get justice from RCCL through the federal 1920 Jones Act. They have violated so many rules,regulations,laws since the VERY FIRST DAY I signed on- that I lost track at 29…
      I have been “monitored” and relocated 13 times in 20 months. Everything I worked 30 years for has been lost, sold or stolen from me.
      My Lord Jesus has been my saviour through this living, endless nightmare. I am disfigured and disabled and will have severe pain for the
      rest of my life.
      TRUTH NEVER DAMAGES A CAUSE THAT IS JUST. Passengers and crew members must unite against this trillion dollar tyranny,trauma and terror of the CRUISE LINE INDUSTRY and RCCL>
      Their slogan
      “Get Out There” is accurate in every way.

    21. richard on July 5th, 2008 8:34 am

      Today, July 5, 2008, is the third anniversary of the disappearance of George Smith Jr.

      Question to Jennifer Hagel: My understanding is that you split off from the joint lawsuit with the family against Royal Caribbean.

      In return for doing this, you accepted a fee of more than $1 million in return for signing off and saying that Royal Caribbean was off the hook, that there was nothing more that it could do.

      The inferences to be drawn from this action are revolting. Care to explain?

      George’s family continue to fight for justice.

      What’s in your mind, dollar bills?

      How was it that on the morning that you woke up in the cabin, where your recently married husband was nowhere to be found, you rushed to the spa?
      This, after (allegedly) you were found passed out elsewhere on the ship and were carried back to the cabin? After all that, you were able to think about a beauty treatment at the spa?

      Sorry, we ain’t buying the tale you have to sell … Royal Caribbean did, but not us.

    Leave a Reply

    Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

    • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
    • Red (comments)
    • Dugga (technical issues)
    • Dana (radio show comments)
    • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
    E-mail It