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What type of liability do cruise lines have?

As the horror stories surrounding the recent cruise ship disasters begin to surface, many residents here in California have begun to wonder what sort of liability cruise lines have when it comes to the safety of their passengers.

In the last few months two ships in Carnival Cruise Lines' fleet have experienced mechanical failures that have left the ship without power. In both cases, toilets on the ship stopped working, causing them to overflow. Some passengers even reported seeing human waste running down the walls of the ship in some areas. A health risk to all passengers within the vicinity, many have seen this as a springboard for a lawsuit stating that passengers were not only subjected to health risks but could suffer emotional damage as a result.

Despite the fact that the United States government prohibits ship owners from placing language in their contracts that would stop a person from bringing forth a class-action lawsuit, because Carnival Cruise Lines is incorporated outside of the U.S., it does not follow the same laws.

That's not to say that a person would not have a case against the cruise line, they would just have to prove that their injury-whether mental or physical-was a direct result of negligence on the company's part. It's in situations like this that we suggest people speak with a skilled attorney. With so many laws, even the most justified case could get lost along the way.

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