And So It Begins: Passengers Aboard That Stranded Carnival Cruise Ship Start Suing

February 20, 2013  |  

A passenger boarding a bus to New Orleans after landing in Mobile, AL. AP Photo/AL.com, Mike Brantley

You knew it had to happen. Passengers who were stranded for days aboard the sewage ship, also known as the Triumph, have started suing Carnival.

Lisa Williams, a 42-year-old passenger from Houston, is suing because she says she’s had to make trips for emergency care for IV drips after the ordeal. She claims she became dehydrated on the ship. Williams is suing for $75,000, says GMA and ABC News.

“Plaintiff had been exposed to extremely toxic and debilitating conditions resulting in severe and permanent injuries,” the complaint says.

On Friday, a 25-year-old passenger, Cassie Terry, filed her lawsuit due to the conditions on the boat, including the human feces that was all over the place and the long lines for “spoiled food” that she alleges she had to endure.

“Plaintiff was forced to subsist for days in a floating toilet, a floating Petri dish, a floating hell,” the lawsuit says. Terry says she’s also receiving medical attention. Other passengers are considering their own lawsuits.

It’s been determined that a fuel leak caused the fire that ultimately made the ship stall mid-cruise. In fact, it seems like the aftermath of the fire was worse than the fire itself. TIME asks whether the $500 compensation that Carnival offered is enough for what the passengers endured. While I’m admittedly giggling a bit every time I come across this story (Poop Cruise!), the fact is these folks were stuck in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico with limited food and water, no electricity, and a sanitation crisis that legitimately can cause serious illness.

TIME makes the point that many do think the $500 is way too low, with other travel industries offering more for damaged items, let alone people who have to seek medical attention. In the case of the Costa Concordia, on which there were actual fatalities, passengers were offered as much as $13,000.

According to ABC News, the fine print on the Carnival Triumph ticket says the company is “not liable” for emotional or mental distress. But they’re likely going to have to pay up for this incident. The company has made no comment about the lawsuits yet.

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