The effects of the Costa Concordia wreck are still wreaking havoc on Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) as Saturday brought news of the Carnival Triumph being held as security over a lawsuit against its European sister company. US marshals were called in the seize the ship for a brief period of time at the Texas port of Galveston.
The lawsuit was levied by the family of a German tourist who died on the Costa Concordia. Plaintiff attorney, John Eaves, stated that his intent was not to inconvenience the passengers aboard the Triumph who were about to sail on a 5 day cruise to Mexico, but that he was trying to make a point.
What point? That the Carnival Triumph has some of the same safety issues that the Costa Concordia had. The lawsuit claims that the cruise line was not doing enough to address these safety concerns, and the plaintiff felt this was the only way to really get Carnival’s attention.
Eaves would not release all of the details of the conversation with Carnival but mentioned that the seizure of the ship would be released if the cruise line agreed to post a $10 million security bond in the German tourist’s lawsuit.
While the ship was seized passengers were still allowed to get on and off the ship, but the departure was delayed slightly while the details of the lawsuit were being negotiated.
A deal was struck not long after the seizure and the 2,700 plus passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph were able to resume their 5 day vacation cruise to the Yucatan peninsula and Cozumel.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Siglinde Stumpf, claims that Carnival shared responsibility for Stumpf’s death for not preparing and maintaining proper safety programs for all vessels under its control, including the ill-fated Costa Concordia.
Eaves hopes to be able to convince Carnival to campaign for changes in maritime law and also to train its captains better. After not being able to get Carnival’s attention he hopes this will wake them up and has stated, “We want a uniform set of safety standards, and we won’t stop until we get it.”
It’s hard to say that Carnival has not already woken up to these facts though, after considering the $139 million net loss in the same quarter that profited them $152 million just the year before. The fallout from the Costa Concordia wreck will continue to have ripple effects through 2012 and beyond, but with safety changes being made even now in the cruise industry it will result in a safer experience for all future cruisers.