- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A group of passengers are demanding Carnival cruise lines pay them $5,000 a month for the rest of their lives after an engine fire aboard the ill-fated Triumph in February 2013 caused the ship to lose power and drift at sea for five days.

The lawsuit, brought by 33 passengers, cites physical and ongoing mental anguish some of them incurred since the cruise ship broke down in the Gulf of Mexico and they were left without power or working toilets for five days, Reuters reported.

Carnival sought to make amends at the time by offering each passenger a full refund, a free future cruise and a $500 check.

One of the plaintiffs, Debra Oubre, 59, said she has experienced panic attacks since the cruise, and also blames the experience for a urinary tract infection.

“It was chaotic. People were in dire need of help,” she told Reuters. “We were standing in line for food for five hours.”

A federal judge in Miami last week finished hearing three weeks of testimony from passengers and is expected to issue a judgment in the next two months.

The lawsuit is the first from the Triumph incident to go to trial, with others in preparation.

A Carnival spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters: “This is an opportunistic lawsuit brought by plaintiff’s counsel and plaintiffs who seek to make a money grab.”

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