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Negligence lawsuit filed after stranded cruise ship ordeal

At least one passenger who was on board the stranded Carnival cruise ship Triumph has filed a negligence lawsuit against the company. The suit was filed in federal court the day after the passengers were finally able to get off of the ship, which was four days away from dry land when a fire disabled the engines. Another boat arrived to tow the massive cruise ship, but it took four days to get the passengers and crew to safety.

The ordeal caused significant stress and emotional trauma for the passengers on board. The recent lawsuit filed against the cruise line describes the four days spent on the disabled ship as a "floating hell." The passenger who filed the initial lawsuit says that among the many things that made the time on board the disabled ship difficult to bear was the overflowing sewage caused by the broken plumbing system and the tilt of the boat while it was being towed.

Carnival Cruise lines have refunded passengers for the price that they paid to board the ship and have issued small cash payments of $500 in hopes of placating complaints about the ordeal. However that small sum of money does not seem to be associated with an release from liability for negligent conduct on the part of the company.

In additional to the personal injury negligence action brought for this boating accident, the passenger who filed the first suit also claimed that the cruise company breached their contract with her, misrepresented the safety of the ship, and engaged in fraud. According to the lawsuit filing, the passenger believes that Carnival knew that the ship was unsafe and that it was at risk of experiencing serious problems with the propulsion system and the engine prior to the date that it set sale.

vIf this allegation is true, then the cruise company may be liable for significant damages in this case and others associated with the boat accident.

Source: The South Florida Business Journal, "New lawsuit alleges Carnival Triumph was 'floating hell'" Paul Brinkmann, Feb. 15, 2013

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