Class action filed on behalf of cruise ship passengers

Posted on: February 25th, 2013 by Steve Larson
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Fotolia ShipA proposed class action lawsuit (Case number 1:13-cv-20592 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida) has been filed on behalf of passengers who were onboard the Carnival Triumph.  The complaint alleges that the conditions Triumph passengers were subjected to onboard after the vessel was impaled from a fire were hazardous to their health.

According to the lawsuit, cruise lines are responsible for the safety of everyone onboard, including passengers and crewmembers, which entails making sure illness and disease don’t spread among those aboard a vessel. When an incident onboard a cruise vessel does take place, whether it is a medical complication resulting from disease, an injury related to a slip and fall, or a passenger going overboard, the line may be found at least partially responsible for any injuries or fatalities.

Apart from the shipboard conditions caused by the cruise ship fire, the complaint also alleges that Carnival’s decision to tow the Triumph to Mobile, instead of the closer port of Progreso, Mexico, caused passengers to endure more time onboard the disabled vessel than was necessary, prolonging their exposure to disease, accidents and trauma.

Unfortunately, some cruise lines, including Carnival, have stipulations on their ticket contracts that make it difficult for passengers and crewmembers to obtain their rightful benefits, including medical care and money damages. Because Carnival in particular is not a U.S. corporation, the line is “not subject to U.S. taxes or labor laws,” a factor which prevents victims from making a full recovery following cruise ship accidents and injuries.

Although Carnival released a statement on its website explaining Triumph passengers will be compensated with a “full refund of the cruise and transportation expenses, a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for the voyage, reimbursement of all shipboard purchases made during the voyage, with the exception of casino, gift shop and artwork purchases, and further compensation of $500 per person,” the lawyers for the class said passengers do not have to settle for this meager compensation and that the firm has found sufficient evidence providing grounds for Triumph victims to file a proposed class action lawsuit against Carnival.