In the weeks following the Triumph’s return to shore, several passengers have filed lawsuits against Carnival Corporation. In their complaints, passengers allege that Carnival “recklessly and intentionally” risked their lives on board the Triumph. The passengers further allege that Carnival “knew or should have known” that the cruise ship would experience mechanical failure and that it failed to exercise its duty of reasonable care. The passengers are seeking damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The Triumph’s engine caught fire during its voyage in the Gulf of Mexico. The crippled engine left over 3,000 passengers stranded at sea for about five days. Carnival then slowly tugged the ship to shore. Upon reaching shore, several passengers revealed that they were deprived of food, water and access to functioning bathrooms on the ship.
Maritime law governs the claims of passengers who suffer injuries on cruise ships. Most major cruise lines today are registered under the laws of foreign countries. Nevertheless, if a cruise ship departs from a U.S. port, the cruise ship is considered to be a common carrier under the U.S. Shipping Act of 1984. As a common carrier, cruise ships owe a heightened duty of care to their passengers.
Victims of cruise ship accidents may sue cruise lines for compensation for their injuries if their injuries were caused by the negligence of the cruise line or its crew. Lawsuits can also be filed against cruise ships for intentional torts, such as criminal acts, that occur on board the ship. The types of damages available include compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and lost income.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury on a cruise ship, you should speak with an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights. Maritime law is a highly specialized area of law. Our experienced Louisiana maritime lawyers at Broussard & David have the expertise required to effectively represent clients who suffer injuries at sea. For questions, call Broussard & David at 888-337-2323 (toll-free) or 337-233-2323 (local).