Beaumont business sues after employees stranded on Carnival Cruise

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Aug 12, 2013

A Beaumont business has filed a lawsuit claiming it was unable to open its business because its employees were stranded at sea on a Carnival Cruise ship.

Beaumont Family Eye Care P.C. and Peter Cass filed suit against Carnival Corp., doing business as Carnival Cruise Lines, on Aug. 8 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

The passengers left for a leisure cruise vacation to Mexico aboard the Carnival Triumph on Feb. 7, 2013. The vessel was scheduled to arrive back on Feb. 11, but did not return until early Feb. 15.  The plaintiffs state that the vessel lost power after an engine room caught fire on Feb. 10 and then drifted for five days.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant was aware of the mechanical problems on board the vessel and knew the vessel was not “sufficiently seaworthy” to provide a safe, sanitary and enjoyable voyage.

The defendant is accused of unconscionability, misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, negligence and fraud.

The Carnival Corp. is accused of failing to properly and adequately maintain the vessel to prevent a fire in the engine room; failing to adequately maintain the engines and machinery of the vessel once a fire broke out; failing to warn passengers of dangers and unsafe conditions; failing to adequately staff, supervise and train staff; and failing to hire competent management and supervise management.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of damages for economic loss of their business, additional expenses related to returning their employees to Beaumont from Mobile, Ala., exemplary damages, interest and court costs.

On the same day as this filing, a group of individual passengers on board the Triumph filed a lawsuit claiming fraudulent inducement against Carnival.

The plaintiffs are represented by Matthew C. Matheny of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:13-cv-00504

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