Thousands of passengers aboard Carnival’s Triumph cruise ship were stranded without power due to an engine room fire caused by a fuel leak in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico last February. Our Miami lawyers who sue cruise ship companies filed the first individual passenger injury claim against the Triumph.
Our client, a Texas woman, was amongst 4,229 passengers and crew who lived in unsanitary conditions and without working toilets, air conditioning, fresh water or elevators as the 900 foot long disabled ship was slowly tugged to Mobile, Alabama. Ironically, the rescue mission was further delayed when one of the towlines snapped.
Since being docked in Mobile, the Triumph continues to be plagued by problems. Last month the Triumph dislodged from its moorings by a windstorm. Then, in a separate and subsequent incident, two shipyard workers fell into Mobile Bay. One worker was rescued immediately; the other’s body was not found for more than a week.
Now more than two months since the initial disaster, the Triumph is still undergoing repairs with many workers living on board. Last week an explosion erupted on a nearby fuel barge critically injuring three people and forcing the evacuation of all of the Triumph’s crewmembers.
SUING A CRUISE LINE
Triumph passenger lawsuits against Carnival filed in Federal Court in Miami are not going smoothly either. Carnival is seeking the dismissal of all Triumph cases including a potential class action attempting to consolidate the claims of over 3,000 passengers. Carnival has argued that the passengers’ tickets – the Contract of Carriage – prohibit the filing of a class action lawsuit. In response the potential class action is asserting that Carnival is negligent for allowing the Triumph to sail in light of its past mechanical issues.
Additionally, Carnival is trying to get rid of our client’s individual claim. Williams, L – Motion to Dismiss Pltfs Complaint for Damages w Memo-10996.pdf Carnival appears to prefer muscling its way through the litigation process rather than attempting to resolve the claims of those who were impacted by poor maintenance.
Cruise ships are like floating cities and therefore must have the ability to provide basic comfort and support for passengers when faced with an unexpected power outage. Carnival has recently unveiled upgraded emergency power capabilities along with improved operating procedures they claim are intended to prevent the kind of disaster that left the Triumph dead in the water. To oversee these changes, Carnival formed a five person safety and reliability board that is allegedly comprised of maritime experts.
Dragging a distressed cruise ship slowly across the Gulf of Mexico with thousands of people stewing in raw sewage is unforgivable. I hope that Carnival is ultimately held accountable for not just ruining their passengers’ vacations; but for prioritizing corporate profits over passenger safety.