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Carnival Triumph Disaster: the “Triumph” didn’t quite live up to its name

 

Carnival Cruise Lines is back in the news—yes, this is the same Carnival company that was involved in the Costa Concordia disaster off the coast of Italy last year. The cruise ship involved in this debacle is the Carnival Triumph, though the ship and its operations have been significantly less than “triumphant” as of late.

The Triumph left Texas on February 7th, headed for Mexico with roughly 4,200 passengers. However, on the third day of the triumphant voyage, a fire broke-out in the engine room on the ship. Now, if something is going to catch on fire, the best place for it to do so is in the middle of the ocean surrounded by water, right? Well, not in this case; because of the fire, the 4,200 passengers and crew members were left on the cruise ship, without power, little food and few bathrooms, floating about the Gulf of Mexico. Passengers have described the scene aboard the ship as absolutely disgusting—one even referred to it as “a floating petri dish.” Passengers have reported that they resorted to using plastic bags as replacements for toilets and had to sleep on the deck of the ship due to the overwhelming stench and unbearable heat that the powerless ship afforded them.

The ship remained in this disgusting state for five days before it was finally, with much outside assistance, maneuvered to the coast of Mobile, Alabama.

According to a Coast Guard report released on Monday, the fire that started it all was caused by a fuel leak. News agencies have been quick to report that there is no evidence that the fuel leak was intentional—that’s good to know, but does that resolve the issue? Does that remedy the fact that thousands of men, women and children were stuck on a ship with minimal amounts of food, surrounded by feces, for days on end? No, it doesn’t. Just because something isn’t criminal doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong—this is an issue of civil law and personal injury of sorts, and it will certainly be dealt with in the legal system.

In essence, whether the fire was set intentionally or not is, as far as the suffering of the passengers is concerned, irrelevant. The passengers onboard suffered because of wrongdoing on the part of someone—whether it was negligence on the part of the designers of the particular malfunctioning piece of equipment, the manufacturer of the particular malfunctioning piece of equipment, the maintenance workers, the ship captain, etc., someone or some entity has acted in an negligent manner and will be forced—one way or another—to compensate the passengers for what they have been forced to endure.

While each company has different specifications, Carnival Corp., the parent company for the Carnival Triumph is headquartered in South Florida, and we can expect lawsuits to start pouring into their legal offices in the near future; some have already started.

If you have any questions relating to this incident, or any other personal injury matter, please contact us at the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg for a free consultation at 561-266-9191 or daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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