Frequently Asked Questions

A court authorized Notice of the class settlement was sent to you because you have a right to know about the proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval to the settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, and who can get them.  The Notice is part of a package sent to potential Settlement Class Members like you. The package includes the Notice, the Instructions for the Claim Form, and the Claim Form. The package also explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Honorable Beth Bloom of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is overseeing this class action. The case is known as Janicijevic v. Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd., et al., Case No. 20-cv-23223.  The person who filed this lawsuit is called the “Plaintiff” and the companies he sued, Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd. and Paradise Cruise Line Operator Ltd., are called the “Defendants.”

This lawsuit is about wages due to crew members employed on the Grand Celebration passenger cruise vessel between March 18, 2020 and August 20, 2020.  Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to pay severance and certain crew members’ wages under employment contracts for jobs assigned to them by Defendants. Defendants deny all of the claims made in the lawsuit.

In a class action, a person called a Class Representative (in this case, Dragan Janicijevic) sued on behalf of other employees with similar claims. Together, the people included in the class action are called a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or Defendants. Instead, the Plaintiff and Defendants agreed to a settlement. This way, they avoid the cost and burden of a trial and the people affected can get benefits. The Class Representative and his attorneys think the settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members.

The Settlement Class includes all seafarer-employees who were physically present on the Grand Celebration for at least one day anytime between March 18, 2020 until August 20, 2020 and were (1) terminated such that severance is due under their employment contracts and/or (2) were employed and performed a designated job at Defendants’ request. If you are unsure whether you are included in the Settlement Class, or if you have questions about the case, call the toll-free number, 1-800-838-2759, or visit the Settlement Website at www.celebrationsettlement.com.

Yes. The Settlement does not include deck and engine employees, independent contractors or the Defendants’ corporate officers or corporate directors.

Defendants have agreed to create a $875,000 Settlement Fund. After deducting attorneys’ fees and expenses, and the costs of Notice and administration, the balance of the fund will be used to make payments to Settlement Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms. The Class Representative may or may not be entitled to a service award depending on the outcome of certain rulings with an appellate court. See Answer to FAQ #4 for more information.

If you submit a valid Claim Form, you will receive your severance wages pursuant to your employment contract and, if you performed a designated job at the Defendants’ request at any point between March 18, 2020 through August 20, 2020, you will receive your contractual basic wages.  The Settlement Fund will be allocated as follows: first it will be used to pay any attorneys’ fee and expense award to Co-Lead Class Counsel and any incentive award to the Class Representative that are approved by the District Court and any and all administrative costs (the result is the “Net Settlement Fund”). The Net Settlement Fund will be divided and distributed as individual allocations to the Settlement Class Members who do not opt out.  If the Claims received exceed the Net Settlement Fund, each Settlement Class Member shall have their amounts reduced pro rata. Any remaining Net Settlement Funds that remain after final approval and distribution to valid and approved class members shall revert to Bahamas Paradise. 

To receive a cash award, you must be a Settlement Class Member and must send in a properly completed and accurate Claim Form by U.S. Mail (or the mail system in whatever country you reside), postmarked by May 6, 2021 (“Claim Deadline”) or, if a private mail carrier is used, a label reflecting a sending date no later than the Claim Deadline. You may also email a completed Claim Form to settlementadministrator@celebrationsettlement.com, no later than midnight Eastern Time on May 6, 2021.  Claim Forms may be emailed to the Settlement Administrator via this website, or printed from the website and mailed to the Settlement Administrator at the address on the form. Claim Forms are also available by calling 1-800-838-2759 or by writing to the Settlement Administrator, Janicijevic v. Classica Cruise Operator Settlement Administrator, 2045 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 163, Miami, Florida 33137.

Claim Form Instructions and Claim Forms have been sent to potential Class Members with a Notice concerning the class action settlement. You may also obtain a Claim Form on the Settlement Website at www.celebrationsettlement.com, or you can ask for one by calling toll-free, 1-800-838-2759.  Please read the Claim Form Instructions carefully. Complete the Claim Form, sign it, and mail it with a postmark of May 6, 2021 or submit online on the Settlement Website no later than midnight on May 6, 2021.  If your Claim Form is not properly completed and/or all required information is not provided, you will not be paid.  You must complete and submit a Claim Form by May 6, 2021.

The Court will hold a hearing by Zoom video conference on May 12, 2021 to decide whether to grant final approval to the settlement. This date is subject to change by the Court, but if the date is changed you will be notified via the settlement website. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether appeals will be filed and, if so, how long it will take to resolve them. Settlement payments will be distributed as soon as possible, if and when the Court grants final approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved.

Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Settlement Class. If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. You will not be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants and the Released Persons about the legal issues resolved by this Settlement. The rights you are giving up are called Released Claims.

If and when the Settlement becomes final, Settlement Class Members will release and discharge the Defendants, and any and all of their respective past, present and future parents, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, corporations, divisions, joint ventures, and entities in which Cruise Defendants have a controlling interest, and any and all of their respective past, present and future officers, directors, managers, general and limited partners, members, principals, insurers, insureds, employers, employees, consultants, independent contractors, shareholders, attorneys, advisors, predecessors, successors, associates, related entities, servants, assigns, representatives and agents (the “Released Parties”) from any and all actual, potential, filed, known or unknown, fixed or contingent, claimed or unclaimed, suspected or unsuspected, claims, demands, liabilities, rights, causes of action, contracts or agreements, extracontractual claims, damages, actual, statutory, punitive, exemplary or multiplied damages, expenses, costs, attorney’s fees and/or obligations, whether in law or equity, accrued or unaccrued, direct, individual or representative, of every nature and description whatsoever, whether based on 46 USC § 10313, 46 USC § 10504, 18 USC § 1595, federal, state, local, statutory or common law or any other law, rule or regulation, including the law of any jurisdiction outside the United States, against the Released Parties, or any of them, arising out of the facts, transactions, events, matters, occurrences, acts, disclosures, statements, promises, oral agreements and representations, omissions or failures to act regarding any and all alleged unpaid wages, severance, or any other monies arising out of or in connection with the employer-employee relationship with the Cruise Defendants, including all past, present and future claims that were brought or could have been brought in the Action concerning any of the claims raised therein.

More details about the claims you will be releasing are described in Sections 2.34-2.37 of the Settlement Agreement, available on the Court Documents page of this website. 

Yes. Judge Bloom appointed the law firms of Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkelman, P.A. and The Moskowitz Law Firm to represent you and other Settlement Class Members as “Class Counsel.” These law firms and their lawyers are experienced in handling similar cases. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses up to $262,500.00, and a case contribution award of $5,000.00 paid to the Class Representative for his time and effort in the matter. The Court may award less than these amounts.

The attorneys’ fees and expenses and the case contribution award shall come from the Settlement Fund. Defendants have agreed not to oppose the applications by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses or the case contribution award to the Class Representative that do not exceed those amounts.

Following execution of the Settlement, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion holding that case contribution awards for class representatives were impermissible. Johnson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC, 2020 WL 5553312 (11th Cir. 2020). In light of this opinion, the Parties have agreed that the Court may approve all of the terms of the Settlement, while also denying the request for a case contribution award, but Class Counsel can request the Court reserve jurisdiction to reconsider the issue of a case contribution award if NPAS is reversed, vacated, or overruled before the final date of the completion of Net Settlement Fund payments. Class Counsel will file with the Court their request for attorneys’ fees and expenses on or before March 23, 2021 and any request for service awards on or before February 8, 2021, which will then be posted on this website www.celebrationsettlement.com.

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must submit a written request for exclusion by mail or online. Your request for exclusion must include: (1) your name; (2) your current address; (3) your telephone number; (4) passport number and country of citizenship; (5) the name and case number of the this matter; a statement under penalty of perjury that you are a class member of the Settlement Class in Janicijevic v. Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd., et al., Case No. 20-cv-23223; (6) provide sufficient factual information to demonstrate that you are a member of the Settlement Class you wish to be excluded from; (7) date the exclusion request and (8) include your signature (or, in the case of a person in the Settlement Class who is deceased or incapacitated, the signature of the legally authorized representative of such person). Your request for exclusion must be submitted by pre-paid first-class mail to the Settlement Administrator at the address below so it is postmarked by no later than April 12, 2021:

Janicijevic v. Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd., et al. Settlement Administrator

2045 Biscayne Boulevard

Suite 163

Miami, Florida 33137 USA

You cannot “opt out” of the Settlement on behalf of other members of the Settlement Class.

Any member of the Settlement Class who does not opt out of the Settlement in the manner and by the deadline described in the Answer to FAQ #15 above will be part of the Settlement Class, will be bound by all Orders and proceedings in this action, and will give up the right to sue any of the Defendants for the claims that this Settlement resolves. If you want to opt out, you must take timely affirmative written action even if you have filed a separate action against any of the Defendants or are a putative class member in any other class action filed against any of the Defendants. If you have a pending lawsuit, please contact your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. Remember, the deadline to opt out is April 12, 2021.

No. If you exclude yourself, you are telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. You can only get a payment from this Settlement if you stay in the Settlement and submit a valid Claim Form.

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you are giving up the right to sue the Defendants and the Released Persons for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Litigation to start or continue with your own lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants or any of the Released Persons.

If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like it or a portion of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. Your objection must include: (1) the case name and number (Janicijevic v. Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd., et al., Case No. 20-cv-23223); (2) your full name, home address, telephone number, and email address; (3) a statement that you are a member of the Settlement Class, and any other information required by the Claim Form, including a verification under oath; (4) state whether the objection is made by you as a Settlement Class Member or on your behalf or on behalf of other Settlement Class members; (5) identify any lawyer that was consulted regarding your objection; (6) a written statement of the reasons for your Objection and a detailed statement of the legal basis for it; (7) copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents that support your objection; (8) a list of all persons who will be called to testify in support of your objection (if any) at the Final Approval Hearing; (9) a statement indicating whether you or your attorney will appear at the Final Approval Hearing; (10) a list and copies of the exhibits you may offer during the Final Approval Hearing (if any); (11) the name, address, and telephone number of your attorney (if any) who represents you, including former or current counsel who may be entitled to compensation for any reason related to your objection; (12) a detailed list of any other objections you or your attorney have submitted in any class actions in any court in the United States in the previous five years; and (13) your signature.

Your written objection must be mailed to the Court, and copies must be mailed to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel at the following addresses, postmarked by April 12, 2021:

CLERK OF THE COURT CLASS COUNSEL
Clerk of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida
400 North Miami Avenue
8th Floor
Miami, FL 33128
Michael A. Winkleman
Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A.
One Biscayne Tower, Suite 1776
2 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33131
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS
Catherine J. MacIvor
Foreman Friedman, PA
One Biscayne Tower, Suite 2300
2 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33131

Yes. You or your attorney may speak at the Final Approval Hearing about your objection. To do so, you must include a statement in your objection indicating that you or your attorney intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing.

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlement. You can object only if you remain in the Settlement Class (that is, do not exclude yourself). Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the Settlement no longer affects you.

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing by Zoom videoconference at 9:00 a.m. on May 12, 2021 (Meeting ID to access the Zoom videoconference is 161 325 2996 and the password is 195683). Alternatively, the hyperlink to the meeting is

https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1613252996?pwd=STNhdlhYV0tQVW5OTlJSYWRMMXJHdz09

This date is subject to change by the Court. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. It will also consider whether to approve Class Counsel’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as the Class Representative’s service award, if applicable. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Bloom will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.

No. Class Counsel will answer any questions Judge Bloom may have. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing if you are a Settlement Class member.  To do so, you must file with the Clerk of the Court and serve on all counsel for the parties (at the addresses identified above in the Answer to  FAQ #16) a notice of intention to appear at the hearing. The notice of intention to appear must include (1) the case name and number; (2) your name, address, telephone number, and signature, (3) if represented by counsel, their contact information; and (4) copies of any papers, exhibits, or other evidence that you intend to present to the Court in connection with the hearing. The notice of intention to appear must be filed with the Clerk of Court and served on all counsel no later than April 12, 2021. If you do not file a notice of intention to appear by this deadline and/or follow the requirements in the Settlement Agreement and this Notice, you will not be entitled to appear at the hearing to raise any objections.

You cannot speak at the hearing if you have excluded yourself from the Settlement Class.

If you are Settlement Class Member and you do nothing, you will give up the rights explained in the Answer to FAQ #11 above, including your right to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants and the Released Persons about the legal issues resolved by this Settlement. In addition, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement as described in the Answer to FAQ #15 above, you will not be able to start a lawsuit or continue with a lawsuit against Defendants about the legal issues that were or could have been raised in this case, ever again.

This FAQ summarizes the proposed Settlement. Complete details are provided in the Class Action Settlement Agreement. The Class Action Settlement Agreement and other related documents are available on the Court Documents page of this website. Additional information is also available by emailing or writing to:

Janicijevic v. Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd., et al. Settlement Administrator
2045 Biscayne Boulevard
Suite 163
Miami, Florida 33137 USA

email: settlementadministrator@celebrationsettlement.com

You may also call (800) 838-2759 for more information.

Publicly filed documents can also be obtained by reviewing the Court’s online docket.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE THE COURT, THE JUDGE OR HER STAFF, FOR INFORMATION OR ADVICE ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT