A class-action lawsuit filed Feb. 18 in Florida claims Carnival Corp. was negligent for allowing the cruise ship Triumph to embark on a five-day cruise when it knew the vessel was prone to mechanical issues.
The ship experienced an engine-room fire three days in and spent five days disabled in the Gulf of Mexico while tugboats towed it to port in Mobile, Ala., late Feb. 14. More than 4,200 passengers and crew described increasingly uncomfortable conditions as the power and sewage systems were knocked out and food was in short supply.
The lawsuit was filed by a Miami-based law firm on behalf of more than 100 passengers of the cruise. According to the lawsuit, 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.”
Also, the lawsuit says that the decision by Carnival to tow the ship to Mobile instead of the closer port of Progeso, Mexico, unnecessarily increased the amount of time passengers had to endure the conditions aboard the disabled ship.
A Carnival spokesman said the company would not comment on the pending lawsuit.
The company has said it would refund all guests for trip and transportation expenses, as well as shipboard purchases except gift shop, art purchases and casino charges. All passengers will receive $500 and a future cruise credit, according to information on the company website.
The maritime attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent passengers and crewmembers who have been injured on cruise ships.