It has only been a little over a week since the ill-fated Carnival Triumph set sail from Galveston, TX with over 3,000 passengers onboard. While travelers were expecting a relaxing and fun-filled get-away, what they got – though interesting – was far from what they paid for.
The Triumph experienced a cruise ship fire off the coast of Mexico on Sunday, Feb. 10, leaving the vessel stranded at sea until emergency crews came to the rescue. The vessel was then towed to Mobile, Alabama with the help of three tug boats, where it finally docked on Feb. 14 – three days behind schedule.
Passengers have recounted nightmarish stories of the conditions that they experienced onboard, including non-working toilets, overflowing sewage and meager food provisions. However, these conditions may have resulted in far greater incidents.
Our cruise ship lawyer, Jason R. Margulies, explained on a recent interview with CNN that the waste onboard the vessel spread from deck to deck, leaving passengers to sleep outside their cabins in the hallways and in the Lido deck. The waste created the ideal breeding grounds for disease, like Norovirus and Hepatitis, to spread amongst passengers, putting them at risk for severe medical complications.
“Apart from the uncomfortable situation with bad smells, there is a risk of health problems because of poor sanitation,” said attorney Margulies during the interview.
The conditions passengers were subjected to may be considered a violation of cruise ship safety. Cruise lines are responsible for protecting passengers and crewmembers from any accidents or injuries, and this includes making sure the vessel is sanitary and that any diseases are contained so an outbreak doesn’t occur.
Although the cause of the fire remains unknown, the majority of cruise ship fires are caused by negligence and mechanical failure. Cruise lines are always on the go, embarking and disembarking passengers quickly so they can move from one itinerary to another. There isn’t much time for a vessel’s equipment to be thoroughly checked and many times, mechanical failures go unnoticed, leading to accidents on the high seas.
Carnival has offered guests a full reimbursement of their cruise cost, future cruise credit, reimbursement for certain onboard expenses, travel reimbursement, and $500 per passenger, but this meager compensation pales in comparison to the trauma suffered onboard.
There were even reports of fights breaking out on the ship, which could have led to severe injuries. Since there was no power onboard, victims may not have been treated with the proper medical care they required.
It is important for everyone who was onboard the Carnival Triumph to know that they have a right to seek legal assistance for their pain and suffering. Our maritime lawyers have filed a proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of Carnival Triumph passengers and are available to discuss other legal options with victims.
If you or someone you love was onboard the ship when the fire broke out, contact our firm today to see if you are eligible to file a Carnival Triumph claim.
Photo Credits: Carnival Triumph
Top Right: ABC
Bottom Left: CNN