Litigation Look Back: Mother claimed cruise ship worker molested daughter

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 7, 2014, 11:58am

GALVESTON - When Harris County resident Bernadette Dale and her daughter embarked on a Carnival cruise in the summer of 2008, little did the two know they would return home to launch a legal battle against the company.

An early January 2009 lawsuit filed in Galveston County District Court blamed Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. for an incident aboard the Conquest in which a male employee "made inappropriate and sexually suggestive comments to the minor, grabbed her arm, and forcibly attempted to pull her into an elevator."

Dale insisted the worker, who was not sued, ruined the trip and negatively affected the teen's mental state, stating Carnival "failed to supervise the employee to prevent such an occurrence."

A month after the suit entered Galveston County court records, Carnival removed the litigation to the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas as well as provided an original answer to the allegations.

Both parties reached a settlement in the spring of 2010, and then-Galveston federal Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt issued an order of dismissal, effectively shutting the two-year-old case.

Attorney Giles Kibbe of Beaumont represented Dale while attorney James T. Brown of Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown in Houston served as Carnival's counsel.

Case Nos. 09-CV-0017, 3:09-CV-0022

The Litigation Look Back series revisits cases covered by The Southeast Texas Record.

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