The first of what is expected to be many lawsuits against Carnival Cruise Lines has been filed in Miami.
A passenger from Texas filed the lawsuit in federal court claiming fraud, negligence and breach of maritime contract. The lawsuit came only hours after the Carnival's ship Triumph landed in Alabama after five days at sea without sea.
In the complaint the passenger states she had to wade through feces to get to food lines, where she had to wait for hours and the food was often spoiled. The lawsuit also states that the ship listed many times as it was tugged to shore, causing human waste to spill out of nonfunctioning toilets.
Passengers were given a free flight home, a full refund for their trip and a voucher for another cruise. Carnival has also cancelled the ship's next two departures, refunded bookings for those trips and offered those passengers discounts on future cruises.
The Carnival Triumph became stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after a fire started in the engine room, and knocked out the ship's propulsion system as it was making its way back to Galveston, Texas. Most of the 3,143 passengers stranded onboard the ship complained about the disgusting conditions on the ship, including sewage in the hallways, no air conditioning and nasty smells.
A spokesman for Carnival said that meals were brought onboard from two other ships, and the staff has activities planned for the passengers stuck onboard. The cabins are also said to have running cold water, and some toilets are working. Guests have reported sleeping on the decks to avoid the stench. The U.S Coast Guard is also nearby.
In 2010, the Carnival's cruise ship Splendor lost power after an engine room fire, leaving it drifting off the Pacific coast of Mexico. The USS Ronald Reagan ferried 60,000 pounds of supplies for the ship's passengers and crew as the ship was towed to San Diego.
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Source: The Daily Business Review, "Federal suit against Carnival already filed in Miami," Feb. 19, 2013