John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 24, 2013, 3:34pm

GALVESTON - The first Carnival Triumph lawsuit filed in Galveston federal court was revised to say the plaintiffs were not actually on board the vessel when it became stranded in the Gulf of Mexico last February.

Instead, the amended petition filed Oct. 22 states, the ship's alleged incapacitation caused plaintiffs and Harris County residents Luke Cash and Ami Gallagher "numerous financial and emotional problems."

Court papers explain that Cash and Gallagher were supposed to leave Galveston for Cozumel, Mexico, where they planned to be married, aboard the Triumph on Feb. 11.

The vessel, which left Galveston for a cruise to Mexico on Feb. 7, experienced a fire in its engine room three days later that disabled its power while it was located some 150 miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

More than 4,000 passengers and crew were left stranded.

While the disabled ship floated in the Gulf of Mexico, Cash and Gallagher say they received an email from Carnival the afternoon of Feb. 10, less than 24 hours before they were to go on their trip, stating there had been problems with the Triumph, but "we ask guests not to change their travel plans until our next update."

"This statement left Plaintiffs and their large party of family and friends absolutely no time or ability to make alternative transportation plans," the suit says.

"Most of the party had already traveled extensively to the Port of Galveston to participate in this once in a lifetime occasion."

The suit adds the couple received a notice of cancellation later that evening and say they tried to acquire information from Carnival to no avail.

Plaintiffs claim they overheard a Carnival agent remark, "These f***ing people are driving me crazy,” at the end of what was their third phone call to the company.

Though Cash and Gallagher spent a lot of money for the wedding, the suit says, "the biggest cost of all was the loss of their meticulously planned dream wedding" as they had "weathered much and had waited 10 long years for the perfect time and perfect place to hold this event."

"After learning the history of the vessel’s history or unreliability, and the series of problems plaguing the entire fleet of the defendant as recently as the day of their planned departure, the plaintiffs realized they could not have chosen a less dependable company to transport them," it says.

They are represented by John Bruster Loyd of Jones, Gillaspia & Loyd LLP in Houston.

Case No. 3:13-CV-374

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