First Lawsuit Already Filed in Cruise Ship Mishap

Passenger claims she may suffer serious illness because of her exposure to raw sewage and spoiled food

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013  |  Updated 8:26 AM PDT
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Images Aboard Crippled Carnival Triumph

The Resolve Pioneer tugs the Carnival Triumph.

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Passengers Cheer Escape From "Horrible" Cruise

Passengers from the disabled Carnival Triumph are glad to be back on land after five nightmarish days marked by overflowing toilets and food shortages.
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The first lawsuit has been filed in the wake of the crippled Carnival Triumph cruise that left thousands of passengers in miserable conditions for days.

Texas resident Cassie Terry sued Carnival Corp. on Friday in Miami federal court. The suit seeks unspecified damages, saying Terry feared for her life or that she might suffer serious injury or illness because of the presence of raw sewage and spoiled food.

Carnival cruise ship tickets require that all lawsuits be filed in Miami. Maritime attorneys say it's difficult but not impossible to win a case unless the plaintiff can show actual injury or illness.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the company hadn't seen the suit and was not in position to comment. The Triumph was disabled Sunday by an engine fire.

Before the incident, the ship had earned high marks on its most recent inspection report issued by the Centers for Disease Control in July 2012. The Triumph scored a 96 out of 100 points in the agency's "Inspection Detail Report," available online via searchable database.

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