You only thought you'd heard the last of the nightmarish Carnival cruise-turned-floating toilet ride that gripped the global media for days last month and exhausted every imaginable "poop deck" pun. But no. In Dallas federal court today, 17 Texans who were aboard that ill-fated voyage have filed suit against Carnival alleging gross negligence, malice and fraud and demanding unspecified damages.
The 29-page suit is mostly comprised of a very detailed description of what each of the plaintiffs went through following the engine fire that stranded the vessel, and why they feel they're entitled to compensation. Just for an example, we turn to the Blaylock family of Gun Barrel City. Kelly Lee and Kelly Ann Blaylock -- who both have the same name, which has to be confusing -- had taken their four children, including 8-year-old Rickey, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.
They were having a wonderful time, until their their cabins "overflowed with the ship's urine and feces." Their shower didn't have a lip around it, leaving the sewage to pour into and stay in the cabin as the ship listed.
The family was forced to set up a makeshift tent outside, which was better than enduring the filth and stench of the cabin but was still fairly miserable during the cold nights. Eight-year-old Ruby caught a 102-degree fever, which lasted for two days. Post-rescue, they racked up various expenses treating Ruby, buying a wheelchair to replace the one that broke from being hauled up the stairs because of non-functioning elevators, and getting home from Mobile, Alabama. And that's not even counting the mental anguish they suffered and continue to suffer.
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Today's complaint is latest of several lawsuits filed in the wake of the decidedly not fantastic voyage. My money, which is backed by no legal expertise whatsoever, is that Carnival will settle with the families and begin referring to the poop deck as happiness zones, if only to put this whole sordid mess behind them.