Miami, FL: A proposed cruise ship accident class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of passengers who were onboard the Carnival Triumph by Miami based maritime law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, PA. The firm, which has over 80 years of cruise ship litigation experience in representing passengers and crewmembers who have been involved in various types of accidents at sea or in port, explained that the conditions Triumph passengers were subjected to onboard after the vessel was impaled from a fire were hazardous to their health.
Michael A. Winkleman, an experienced maritime lawyer with the Lipcon firm, discussed the fire onboard the Triumph on a recent interview on Fox Network' Fox & Friends, detailing the conditions passengers had to suffer through. Mr. Winkleman also appeared on the network' America Live with Megyn Kelly, Justice with Judge Jeanine and The O'Reilly Factor shows. Lipcon' Jason R. Margulies was interviewed by CNN regarding the situation.
According to the firm, cruise lines are responsible for the safety of everyone onboard, including passengers and crewmembers, which entails making sure illness and disease don't spread among those aboard a vessel. When an incident onboard a cruise vessel does take place, whether it is a medical complication resulting from disease, an injury related to a slip and fall, or a passenger going overboard, the line may be found at least partially responsible for any injuries or fatalities.
Apart from the shipboard conditions caused by the cruise ship fire, Lipcon also points out that Carnival' decision to tow the Triumph to Mobile, instead of the closer port of Progreso, Mexico, caused passengers to endure more time onboard the disabled vessel than was necessary, prolonging their exposure to disease, accidents and trauma.
Attorney Margulies said "an evacuation in Progreso would have allowed Carnival to contain its passengers' suffering and would have enabled Carnival, from civilization, to systematically coordinate the passengers' transport back to the United States."Maritime lawyer Margulies further stated that "If investigations uncover that either the fire itself or the delay in docking may have contributed to any illnesses or injuries onboard the Carnival Triumph, this can be considered a violation of passenger safety."
Unfortunately, some cruise lines, including Carnival, have stipulations on their ticket contracts that make it difficult for passengers and crewmembers to obtain their rightful benefits, including medical care and money damages. Because Carnival in particular is not a U.S. corporation, Mr. Winkleman explained to Fox News that the line is "not subject to U.S. taxes or labor laws,"a factor which prevents victims from making a full recovery following cruise ship accidents and injuries.
Although Carnival released a statement on its website explaining Triumph passengers will be compensated with a "full refund of the cruise and transportation expenses, a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for the voyage, reimbursement of all shipboard purchases made during the voyage, with the exception of casino, gift shop and artwork purchases, and further compensation of $500 per person,"Mr. Winkleman said passengers do not have to settle for this meager compensation and that the firm has found sufficient evidence providing grounds for Triumph victims to file a proposed class action lawsuit against Carnival.
The lawsuit is Case number 1:13-cv-20592 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.