Passengers on crippled Carnival ship seeking $5,000 a month for - New York News

Passengers on crippled Carnival ship seeking $5,000 a month for life

Posted: Updated:
The Carnival Dream cruise ship in 2010. (Carnival Cruise Lines photo via AP) The Carnival Dream cruise ship in 2010. (Carnival Cruise Lines photo via AP)
By FOX NEWS - A group of passengers suing Carnival Corp. for damages after sailing on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph cruise ship that drifted at sea for days are asking the company to pay $5,000 a month for the rest of their lives for ongoing medical and mental problems.

The case stems from the February 2013 incident when a fire broke out in the ship's engine room during a four-day cruise, leaving the ship without engine power and most of its electricity, forcing passengers to endure human waste running down hallways, limited water supplies, noxious odors and extreme heat.

After about five days in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship was finally towed to Mobile, Ala., and Carnival sought to make amends by offering each passenger a $500 check, a voucher for a future cruise, refunds of most on-board expenses and reimbursement for transportation, parking and other expenses.

Many of the 33 passengers involved in the trial complain of lingering emotional issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression; some have physical ailments they blame on squalid conditions, including leg pain, diarrhea, upper respiratory problems and even aggravated hemorrhoids.

READ MORE


Most of the passengers are seeking $5,000 in damages a year from Carnival for the rest of their lives, claiming they will need continuous medical monitoring because of what happened aboard ship. They want the money in lump sums based on government tables estimating their life expectancies.

One of the plaintiffs, Debra Oubre, 59, told Reuters she has experienced panic and anxiety attacks since the cruise, and also blames the voyage for a urinary tract infection.

"It was chaotic. People were in dire need of help," Oubre said. "We were standing in line for food for five hours."

In a statement to Reuters, Carnival Corp. said that while it recognizes its guests experienced uncomfortable conditions, all passengers returned safely and were provided with a full refund.

"This is an opportunistic lawsuit brought by plaintiff's counsel and plaintiffs who seek to make a money grab," a company spokeswoman said.

Carnival attorney Curtis Mase has asked Senior U.S. District Judge Donald Graham to reject all of the damage claims. In court papers, Mase said the passengers either haven't proved their health issues are linked to the Triumph cruise or haven't shown they suffer from any lingering problems at all.

The passengers, Mase wrote, "are not entitled to damages simply for experiencing the conditions on the vessel." And, he added, "they failed to prove that Carnival's conduct was the legal cause of the injury."

Judge Graham, who is hearing the case without a jury, has ruled that passengers cannot collect punitive damages and may only get damages for past and future medical costs that are conclusively linked to what happened on the Triumph.

Reuters reported that Graham already dealt a major blow to the cruise line by ruling that the engine catching on fire is proof alone of negligence on Carnival's part.

"It would seem rather obvious that ships shouldn't just catch fire and then have fire suppression systems that don't work," Robert Peltz, a Miami maritime lawyer, told the news agency.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Dwayne Johnson hosts 'Hercules' screening for NYC children

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:30:48 GMT
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
    When he's not slaying three-headed beasts with his olive-wood club, Hercules carves out time for the little people. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson treated fans from the Harlem Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC to an advance screening of his new film. I caught up with the larger-than-life action hero after the big surprise.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:20:19 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Suffolk County jail warden is highest-paid muni worker in NY

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 22:48:14 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
    The Empire Center for Public Policy reports 1,803 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year. The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31 shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices