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Class action suit filed by passengers of disabled Carnival cruise

Readers in Southern Nevada likely followed the story of the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, which suffered engine failure in the Gulf of Mexico and was adrift for five days before being dragged to shore on Feb. 15. Passengers on the Triumph reported clogged bathrooms and lack of hot food during their ordeal. Now a couple who were passengers on the ship has filed class action litigation against Carnival Corporation, accusing company employees of negligently allowing the incident to happen.

The cruise began on Feb. 7, when the Triumph left port in Texas for a planned four-day trip to Mexico. On the third day of the voyage, a fire caused by a leak in a fuel-oil line disabled the ship’s engines and electrical systems. As passengers waited for rescue, many of the restrooms backed up and sewage reportedly leaked into public areas. Passengers said they had to sleep on deck because of lack of air conditioning in the cabins. Tug boats pulled the Triumph to shore on Feb. 15.

The lawsuit was filed by a married couple who were passengers on the ship. The suit, filed in federal court, claims that there were mechanical problems on the Triumph in January, including damage to the propulsion system and generators on Jan. 298. Despite these problems, Carnival did not pull the Triumph for repairs and allowed the Feb. 7 trip to go ahead, the plaintiffs contend. Besides the sewage, the plaintiffs say their health was jeopardized by the “spoiled and rotting food” they were served.

The litigation is seeking class-action status. With 3,100 passengers aboard the Triumph, the class could become fairly large. It is not clear if any of the passengers were injured in the fire or became ill while awaiting rescue. The plaintiffs accuse Carnival of creating “a severe risk of injury, illness and/or disease” but do not seem to allege actual injury to themselves.

Source: CNN, “Class-action lawsuit filed against Carnival Corp. in Triumph cruise,” Michael Martinez and Devon Sayers, Feb. 21, 2013

John P. Aldrich
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