Surviving Carnival Cruise Triumph
By now, we have all heard the horrendous accounts of the Carnival Cruise Triumph, and its five-day ordeal after one of the ship’s engines caught fire and stranded the Triumph off the Yucatan peninsula. We have heard accounts from numerous passengers who described the conditions of the stalled cruise liner as “horrible,” “excruciating,” and a “floating hell” akin to the Lord of the Flies.
Carnival Cruise Triumph and Personal Injury Claims
So what duty does a vessel such as a cruise line owe to its passengers?
Claims for injuries (both physical and emotional) are based upon negligence law, which requires a duty, a breach of that duty, a resulting injury, and causation.
According to the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. §1702(6), a cruise ship departing from United States Ports are considered common carriers. Common carriers owe their passengers a heightened duty of care in protecting them from physical harm and ensuring they arrive at their destinations safely. An injured Plaintiff must be able to show that this duty was breached by the cruise line, and that the resulting injury stemmed from that breach.
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Compensation for Carnival Cruise Triumph Personal Injuries
Carnival has attempted to make amends with their passengers. Carnival Cruise Triumph passengers have reportedly received a full refund, credit for a future cruise plus $500 in cash.
However, many passengers are already voicing that the cruise line has not done enough to protect and compensate them for their ordeal. Infuriated with this inadequate offer, the first lawsuits are being filed over the 108 hours in which the passengers were trapped in conditions where sewage was seeping down the walls, carpets were wet with urine, and food was in short supply.
It should be very interesting how the lawsuits play out.