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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Cruise Line Settles Suit for $1.3M

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the parents of the Greenwich man who vanished on a honeymoon cruise. The suit was set to go to court in a month.

George A. Smith IV's parents and his widow, Jennifer Hagel-Smith, accepted a $1.3 million award Tuesday from Royal Caribbean cruise line.

Smith disappeared in the Mediterranean in July of 2005 and his body was never found. The FBI's investigation into his disappearance remains active, according to published reports. A stipulation in the settlement requires the cruise line to hand over its investigative file on the disappearance of Smith.

The parents filed suit in 2008 contesting a Greenwich Probate Court's approval of a $1.1 million settlement Hagel-Smith had reached with Royal Caribbean. The additional moneys will be split between the Smith family and their former daughter-in-law.

In late July, cruise vessel security legislation spurred by Smith's disappearance was signed into law by President Obama. It requires cruise ships to carry on board rape kits and a trained forensic sexual assault specialist. Additionally, a "structure" must be created between the cruise industry, the FBI and the Coast Guard.

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