Carnival Passengers’ Suit Could Change Cruise Line Protections

The unusual litigation advantages long Carnival Passengers' Suit Could Change Cruise Line Protectionse restrictions and others like it may soon fall, to the delight of passengers and the dread of cruise lines.

Enter the Carnival Triumph, specifically on a February 2013 4-day cruise launched from Galveston, Texas. You might recall widespread news of that “feel-good” trip on which a fire erupted in the ship’s engine room, the fire suppression systems did not work adequately and the ship was left stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for 5 days, severely listing and allegedly with no engine power, no air conditioning, no working toilets and no cooking capabilities. The human waste seepage, excessive heat, lack of cooked food and all-purpose chaos forced passengers to sleep on deck and stand in line for hours to obtain rationed water and sparse, uncooked food. Some passengers also reported infections (such as urinary tract infections), panic attacks and anxiety attacks, some of which occurred and/or continued long after the blighted cruise was mercifully euthanized by a tow into Mobile, Alabama.

Carnival Cruise Lines asserts that it returned all passengers safely, though a safe voyage was never guaranteed, paid a full refund plus $500 and offered a free future cruise to each passenger. A number of passengers weren’t having it. Several suits ensued, one brought by 30+ plaintiffs and already entailing weeks of testimony. This suit and others, including one with reportedly 3 times as many plaintiffs, may doom the restrictive adhesion contracts, leaving Carnival and other cruise lines with far less control over how, where, when and why they may be sued.

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Staff Writer

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