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First Lawsuit Filed After “Cruise from Hell”

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Conditions Aboard the Carnival Cruise Ship Triumph

Photo provided by passenger Debbie Moyes of the conditions aboard the carnival cruise ship Triumph.


“A floating toilet, a floating Petri dish, a floating hell.” That was how a Texas woman described the Triumph in a lawsuit filed Friday against Carnival Cruise Lines.

In the nine-page complaint, Cassie Terry, of Lake Jackson, south of Houston, seeks unspecified damages for what she says she endured on a vacation cruise aboard the Triumph to Mexico.

The cruise departed Galveston on February 7. Three days later, when the ship was 150 miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, “an engine room fire knocked out its primary power source, crippling its water and plumbing systems and leaving it adrift,” the complaint says.

For the following nearly five days, Terry, 25, “was forced to endure deplorable, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, including but not limited to, sweltering temperatures, lack of power and air conditioning, lack of hot or running water, and lack of working toilets,” it says.

During the tow back to the United States, “the vessel listed sharply several times, causing human waste to spill out of non-functioning toilets, flood across the Vessel’s floors and halls, and drip down the Vessel’s walls,” it says.

“Plaintiff was forced to endure unbearable and horrendous odors on the filthy and disabled Vessel, and wade through human feces in order to reach food lines where the wait was counted in hours, only to receive rations of spoiled food. Plaintiff was forced to subsist for days in a floating toilet, a floating Petri dish, a floating hell.”

According to the complaint, “Defendant knew the vessel was not seaworthy, either at the time it contracted with Plaintiff, or at the point of departure, but did not advise Plainttiff the Vessel had and was experiencing problems with its propulsion and/or engine room fire suppression equipment.”

As a result of relying on Carnival’s representations, “Plaintiff has been injured in mind and body,” it says.

Lawyer Brent Allison, a partner in Gilman & Allison of Pearland, Texas, said Terry “was feeling nauseated and running a fever.”

Asked what his client was seeking, he said, “It’s too early to put any type of number” on it.

“We have not yet seen the suit and are not in a position to comment,” Carnival said in a statement.

Carnival has said it would give each passenger $500, a free flight home, a full refund for their trip and for most expenses on board, as well as a credit for another cruise.

The towed Triumph arrived in Mobile, Alabama, late Thursday.

By Tom Watkins

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  • poohbare1

    You know, it was an accident. Carnival didn't want the engine room to catch fire to make it rough on the passengers or the crew members. I don't see why anyone could have a lawsuit against Carnival. People are out to make money. Carnival did everything they could do. I can't stand people who wants to sue for every little thing.

  • Benkenobisan

    If the earth were to be covered by water ( think Biblical), and Carnival had the only ship afloat, I'd rather take my chances in a pool float than be a passenger aboard their ship!

  • immimirice

    I think each person who plans on filing a lawsuit should be made to stay five days in the trenches with a soldier overseas in their conditions. I am sorry their cruise was a bad experience, however, I am sure our soldiers in the trenches feel really bad for their misfortune. Let the lawsuits begin.