Maritime Law

Cruise Ship Lawyer: Smelly Toilets and Cold Showers Won’t Support a Lawsuit

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A top maritime lawyer is warning passengers from the disabled Splendor cruise ship that it’s not worth the time or money to file a lawsuit.

Writing at his website Cruise Law News, lawyer Jim Walker says some lawyers are advertising that the passengers should consider a lawsuit. But that’s a bad idea, Walker says, and he cites three reasons:

1) Under maritime law, a cruise ship passenger must suffer a personal injury to have a legitimate claim for compensation. “If you fall down a flight of stairs in the dark and break your hip, that’s a personal injury,” he writes. “But taking cold showers, smelling toilets that can’t be flushed, eating Spam sandwiches in the dark or other similar ‘cruise from hell’ stories are not compensable.”

2) Carnival is protected by its passenger ticket, which absolves the company of liability when it cancels voyages due to a breakdown. The ticket also requires suits to be filed in Miami, a requirement upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

3) Carnival has already offered a full refund, reimbursement of travel expenses, and a free future cruise. “So if you are foolish enough to file suit (in Miami), you simply will not do any better than what is already being offered now,” he says.

If you reject the offer, don’t call us, Walker says. “Most jurors will not have much patience for vacationers complaining about eating Pop Tarts on a cruise ship, when some of the jurors cannot afford a cruise in the first place and our U.S. troops have been eating MRE meals in the middle of the desert in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Hat tip to USA Today.

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