Carnival cruise ship passengers file a class-action lawsuit


In this handout from the U.S. Coast Guard, the cruise ship Carnival Triumph sits idle February 11, 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Coast Guard, the ship lost propulsion power February 10, after a fire broke out in the engine room.


Paul McConnell/U.S. Coast Guard

Passengers on the infamous failed Carnival ship have filed a class action lawsuit against the cruising company, arguing that they should be compensated for physical and emotional anguish, and be awarded punitive damages.

Matt and Melissa Crusan filed the lawsuit against Carnival on Feb 18th at the Miami US Federal Court, days after the ship was finally returned to port late on Feb 14th, reports Reuters.

Read more from GlobalPost: Crippled Carnival cruise ship limps back into port

Attorneys from Miami's Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman filed the lawsuit on behalf of both the Crusans and over 100 other like-minded passengers, writes the Houston Chronicle, who allege that Carnival was negligent in allowing a ship with known technical issues to make the Galveston - Mexico trip.

The lawsuit also claims that Carnival's decision to tow the ship to Mobile, Alabama, instead of allowing it to disembark at Progreso, Mexico, was purely financially motivated, and not in the interest of the passengers, the Chronicle added.

"The primary motivation for that (decision) was money," said Mike Winkleman of the case to the Chronicle.

"It was much cheaper for Carnival to tow the ship to Mobile where it would be repaired, rather than (have it towed) to Mexico and have another tow (from there) back to Alabama. It's cheaper to put 3,000 people on buses to Galveston than to have to fly them from Mexico."

One of the Carnival cruise ship rescue buses broke down while returning passengers from Mobile to New Orleans last week, CBS reported, adding insult to injury.