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Carnival Cruise Line Sued Amid Media Nightmare

Today, it was reported that another Carnival cruise ship encountered a problem that resulted in it losing electricity and passengers being sent home. As you may remember, Carnival made headlines last month when another ship in its fleet lost power for days after a fire. The incidents have been a media nightmare for Carnival, but that’s not the only reason the company is in hot water.

Carnival is being sued in a personal injury lawsuit by a former passenger who says she was over served and then abandoned when she fell overboard. The lawsuit states that the incident occurred on the evening of Oct. 21, 2012 when the woman was on a cruise from Miami to Jamaica.

Apparently, the woman was at a bar on the ship with her fiancé and friend drinking Long Island iced teas, which the bartender “kept pushing on the plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges. The bartender allegedly offered the woman free drink tickets for every drink she purchased, causing the woman to become “extremely intoxicated.”

The woman and her friend then left the bar to “get some air” shortly after midnight. The lawsuit states that soon after, the woman “lost her grip and balance, slipped off the ground and fell overboard into the ocean.” But before reaching the water about 100 feet down, she hit a lifeboat and was left with very serious injuries.

Within minutes, the lawsuit states, the ship took off and disappeared into the waters. The woman states that she thought she was going to die and began swallowing water when she grew too tired to swim. What’s worse, the lawsuit alleges, is that the management on the ship refused to turn the vessel around for over an hour and a half, even though the woman’s friend reported the incident immediately.

By the time the ship reached the woman, she had been in the water for nearly two hours. At that point, the lawsuit states that the woman should have immediately been airlifted to a Miami hospital because the injuries were so severe, but ship officials decided to take the woman to Key West instead. There, doctors said they weren’t equipped to handle her traumatic injuries, the lawsuit states.

The woman, who is seeking punitive damages for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, was in the hospital for weeks recovering from her injuries after finally receiving medical care 16 hours after the incident.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Carnival Cruise Line Didn’t Give a Damn, Woman Overboard Says,” Marimer Matos, March 13, 2013