Carnival Cruise Passengers Seek Lifetime Damages
Reuters news service has written an update on Carnival Triumph passengers’ lawsuits arising from the so-called “cruise from hell” in 2013. Carnival, and its ship, gained worldwide attention when an engine fire left the Triumph adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico.
At least two separate suits, each involving multiple passengers, have been filed. One of the two suits, filed in Miami, has already gone to trial, with a judgment expected shortly. A federal judge has already ruled that the engine catching fire is in itself proof of negligence, stating “It would seem rather obvious that ships shouldn’t just catch fire and then have fire suppression systems that don’t work”.
Carnival is relying on the very broad and stringent waiver terms printed on its cruise tickets. The judge has been asked to decide whether the waivers are overreaching and thus unenforceable.
Carnival acknowledges that the passengers were severely inconvenienced, but also points out that they were provided with a full refund, a free future cruise and $500 per person. A spokesman states that the lawsuit is an “opportunistic lawsuit brought by plaintiff’s counsel and plaintiffs who seek to make a money grab”.
Some of the passengers are apparently seeking an award of up to $5,000 a month, for the rest of their lives, for medical bills and mental anguish. This will be an uphill climb for them, especially if they are unable to show that they developed actual physical or mental illnesses as a result of unsanitary conditions, or other aspects of the cruise.
Even though the ship departed from Galveston, suit was filed in Miami. Again, this is because of the language on the cruise tickets, which require passengers to file any suit arising from the cruise there.