The Atlanta Injury News Blog

Why It's So Hard to Sue a Cruise Line

It's not that easy to sue a cruise line for a cruise gone wrong.

Just ask the 3,000 passengers who were recently on a disabled Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The Carnival Triumph had a fire onboard, causing a power outage that led to problems with sewage.

While there have been talks about a class action lawsuit, it's hard to say whether a lawsuit against a cruise company can be successful.

In response to the incident, Carnival offered each passenger $500, a free flight home and a refund of the trip. The passengers also got a credit for another cruise, CNN reports.

But despite these horrors, it's not always easy to sue a cruise ship. Here's why:

First off, if Carnival paid the passengers any refund, then a large portion of damages would have been mitigated. You need financial loss to claim damages, in many cases. And if they've already been compensated, it's hard for the passengers to claim more.

Emotional damages are a tough case to make, especially if your cruise ticket limits a lawsuit for emotional distress.

And don't look to your insurance company. They won't likely compensate you for a trip gone wrong on a cruise ship.

As for the class action lawsuit that may be in the works against Carnival, it may end up sinking in court. For one, Carnival has fine print on their tickets that limits the ability to bring a class-action suit. While this type of clause is not allowed in the United States, Carnival is actually incorporated in a foreign country, says CNN.

The bottom line is this: It's just not that easy to sue a cruise ship. They've got fine print wrapped in fine print. They've got (presumably) iron-clad contracts and waivers of liability. And they're really not as scared of lawsuits as they are of bad publicity.

So next time you have a bad trip, try threatening them with a bad online review and maybe they'll flinch.

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