The owner of the incapacitated Carnival Triumph is getting hit by lawsuit after lawsuit, including a class action lawsuit seeking for stranding more than 3,000 passengers for five days on a ship without electricity or adequate sanitation.
Carnival has offered Triumph passengers $500, reimbursement for their transportation and many onboard costs, and given them a credit toward a future cruise equal to the amount they paid for the Triumph vacation.
So, how much money are these passengers likely to get? The biggest problem the passengers will have is proving damages. Law says that suffering (many of the claims are likely to be mental in this case) was so severe that they had to seek medical or psychiatric attention. The passengers will have to show a diagnosis that is recognized by the medical profession and that they have received or are currently receiving treatment for that condition. Loss of use or loss of enjoyment complaints will have to flow from their medical damages.
A major complication that the litigants will have to face is that when people purchase a cruise ticket, they are entering into a contract. This contract comes with all sorts of limitations about suing; like you can’t sue as part of a class action suit. The passengers are likely to only overcome the class action hurdle is proving there was negligence in the decision to set sail.
It is likely that the company will end up settling outside of court because of all the bad press associated with continuing through the lawsuit, but none of these passengers should expect to bank big, big bucks.
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