Tourism & Cruises

Carnival passengers say they were hurt when ship tilted after leaving port, lawsuit says

Crew members clean up after Carnival cruise ship tilted for minute

Cellphone footage shows crew members cleaning up after the Carnival Sunshine tilted for one minute just after it left Port Canaveral on Sunday, sending dishes and tables sliding and frightening passengers.
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Cellphone footage shows crew members cleaning up after the Carnival Sunshine tilted for one minute just after it left Port Canaveral on Sunday, sending dishes and tables sliding and frightening passengers.

Three passengers who say they were injured when Carnival Cruise Line’s ship Sunshine listed just after leaving Port Canaveral last October are suing the cruise line.

On Tuesday, Susan and Charles Orgbon of Georgia and Alveta Jordan Armstrong of North Carolina filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the company’s negligence caused their injuries — to spine, wrist and knee, respectively. The ship listed, or tilted, for 60 seconds on October 28, 2018, just minutes after setting sail on a five-day Caribbean cruise. Plates, furniture, and passengers fell to the floor, and several people aboard reported cuts and bruises.

At the time, Carnival said the safety of passengers was never in question. “Carnival Sunshine experienced a technical issue which caused the ship to list for approximately one minute,” the cruise line said in a statement then. “We remain confident of the safety of the ship as we are committed to the safety of our guests and crew.”

According to the lawsuit, and to Carnival’s statement to passengers, the ship listed because its fin stabilizers malfunctioned. In their lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District for the Southern District of Florida, the three suing passengers said the company did not train the crew about how best to maintain the stabilizers, which are used to prevent rocky movements as the ship sails.

Last month a federal jury found that Carnival was not responsible for the death of a 33-year-old Texas woman who fell overboard on one of its cruise ships in 2016 after a night of heavy drinking.

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Taylor Dolven covers the tourism industry at the Miami Herald, where she aims to tell stories about the people who work in tourism and the people who enjoy it. Previously, she worked at Vice News in Brooklyn, NY, where she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of NY for a national investigation of police shootings.


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