Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Carnival For Triumph Disaster

A class action lawsuit was filed against Carnival Cruises on Monday over the Triumph disaster that began last Sunday when a fire broke out in the ship’s engine room.

The lawsuit, filed by Matt and Melissa Crusan, says that Carnival Corp should be held liable for the physical and emotional anguish passengers experienced while they were adrift at sea after the ship’s engine fire.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit are passengers being exposed to sewage and disease, the company’s failure to provide a seaworthy ship, and Carnival’s decision to tow the ship to Mobile, Alabama instead of a port in Mexico, reports Yahoo! News.

The complaint adds that the Triumph ticket doesn’t allow passengers to bring a class action against the cruise line. The suit adds, however, that the provision should be disallowed in this case because of Carnival’s negligence in its unseaworthy vessel and not towing the ship to the closest port.

Initial reports said the company would tow its ship to a port in Mexico. The plan changed after Carnival announced the ship had drifted farther from land. Because of this, the company chose to tow the ship to Mobile.

The Houston Chronicle adds that more than 100 of the ship’s passengers joined in the Crusans’ lawsuit. Most of the plaintiffs are from Texas. The lawsuit alleges:

“[Passengers] were forced to sleep on deck and/or in other communal areas on the vessel, relieve themselves into buckets, bags, showers, sinks, were given spoiled or rotting food that was unfit for reasonable safe human consumption, and were generally forced to live in squalid conditions that created a severe risk of injury, illness and/or disease.”

Carnival has apologized for the engine fire and subsequent loss of power on the ship. They have also offered passengers of the Triumph $500 reimbursement for their transportation and several onboard costs. They have also given each passenger a credit toward a future cruise equal to the amount they paid for the spoiled vacation.

The class action lawsuit is at least the second to be filed by a Triumph passenger since the boat docked in Mobile, Alabama on Friday.

[Image by Scott L. (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons]