And now, the Carnival class-action lawsuit

The filing alleges that the cruise company knew about engine problems before a fire left its Triumph liner stranded for days.

By Jason Notte Feb 21, 2013 2:35PM
The Carnival Triumph cruise ship is towed towards the dock as spectators watch at the port of Mobile, Alabama on February 14, 2013 ( Lyle Ratliff/Newscom/Reuters)An engine fire, five days stranded in the Gulf of Mexico, fights on food lines and raw sewage running down the walls weren't on the Carnival (CCL) Triumph cruise liner's original itinerary when it left port in Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 7.

A class-action lawsuit filed by passengers days after the ship was towed to its dock in Mobile, Ala., last week should have been a little easier to foresee.

CNN reported Thursday that Triumph passengers Matt and Melissa Crusan of Oklahoma filed suit on behalf of other passengers earlier this week in federal court. The suit claims that Carnival "knew or should have known that the vessel Triumph was likely to experience mechanical and/or engine issues because of prior similar issues."

Hints of legal trouble appeared before the ship even pulled into port, as a passenger posting on Reddit mentioned Carnival's offer of a compensation package while insisting conditions on the ship described in various reports weren't "nearly as bad as they're talking about." Carnival offered passengers a full refund, a voucher for a future cruise and $500 as compensation for their trouble, but the Crusans' lawyers issued a press release saying they're "committed to obtaining just compensation for the passengers of the Triumph." What's just? That all depends on a passenger's tolerance for the living conditions that the suit describes in revolting detail:

"[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."

Key phrases like "sewage and/or human waste sloshed around the vessel" make the suit great reading material, but aren't what concern the plaintiffs most. The core of the issue is what the cruise line knew and when. The suit alleges that the Triumph experienced engine issues on other cruises as recently as mid-January. Also, the suit claims that, on Jan. 28, another incident damaged the ship's propulsion system and generator.

“Notwithstanding said issues, Carnival knowingly decided to embark on the subject voyage," the suit says.

On Tuesday, the Coast Guard said the fire started when oil leaking from a line running from one of the ship's engines hit a hot surface and caught fire.Carnival spokeswoman Aly Bello-Cabreriza wouldn't comment on current litigation to The Huffington Post, but noted that the Triumph did have electrical issues with its alternator that were repaired by the alternator's supplier on Feb. 2. She added that supplier and an unnamed “third-party verification organization” certified the repairs and that it shouldn't have been an issue on the cruise.

"There is no evidence at this time of any relationship between this previous issue and the fire that occurred on Feb. 10,” the spokeswoman says.

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Feb 21, 2013 3:09PM
Sad part, the only ones who will make out are the lawyers. Class action sucks and a scam
Feb 21, 2013 3:28PM
Good luck getting anything from a foreign owned company on a foreign flagged ship, with a foreign crew.
Feb 21, 2013 2:52PM
The cruise line should point out that the loss of power also kept passengers from gaining the normal 10 Lbs over the course of the trip. That ought to be worth something.
Feb 21, 2013 4:33PM
Lawyer Alquonquin J. Calhoun has been waiting for this case for the last forty years. Even if the suit is successful, most of the people (winners) will be dead long before a dime gets back to the complainant. A tariff  should be placed on lawyers (call it the bloodsucker tariff) for filing stupid lawsuits.
Feb 21, 2013 5:48PM

I'm just curious why they didn't send out boats to remove the people from the stranded ship?  It might have taken a day or two but would have been better than 5!!  sometimes I think these companies are determined to self destruct. 

Feb 21, 2013 8:37PM
being on a ship is like going to jail with the added possibility of drowning
Feb 21, 2013 5:46PM
Feb 22, 2013 2:22AM
Message to any of the class-action passengers: if you'd like to get rid of your free cruise voucher, please let me know. I'd be happy to take it.
Feb 21, 2013 5:26PM
SUE, SUE and more SUE. Problems happen and why people have to SUE to get ahead in this world is beyond me.  Well, if I was the judge hearing that case, I would throw it out in a heartbeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 21, 2013 6:37PM
A modern day Noah's ark, that's what it must have smelled like too!
Feb 22, 2013 2:10AM
Well we all knew that this was bound to happen. I can bet that the dollar signs turned on inside their eye balls the second they first knew about any trouble. I can also see a scumbag lawyer behind this class-action frivolous lawsuit. Sue, sue, sue,sue,sue,sue,sue....Money,money,money,money,money,money...How much can I get ? My God, we all almost died. It was terrible. What a load of B.S.
Feb 21, 2013 6:14PM
Feb 21, 2013 2:54PM
Would you eat dog?  Anyone that knows horses knows that they are as intelligent as dogs and can have great attachments to humans.  Horses should not be eaten and the wild horses should be left wild!!!  They should not be sold by the greedy BLM for profit to slaughter.
Feb 21, 2013 3:19PM
Give them a happy meal at McDonald`s
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