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ARTICLE ID 195497

$________ COMBINED Admiralty – Plaintiffs stranded for three days on disabled cruise ship without toilet facilities – Alleged failure to maintain engines in safe condition.

U.S. District Court, Southern, Florida

This admiralty action was brought by a group of passengers who went on an ill-fated cruise aboard one of the defendant’s ships. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to safely maintain the vessel which resulted in an engine breakdown, leaving the plaintiffs stranded for three days without air conditioning or toilet facilities. The defendant denied negligence, and argued that the engine problem was unforeseeable.

The complaint was originally filed by 59 plaintiffs. Through summary judgment motion and dismissals, 33 of those claims were tried. The plaintiffs showed that in February of ________ they boarded the defendant’s cruise ship for a four-day cruise. However, an engine fire caused electrical and plumbing failures, according to evidence offered. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant failed to maintain the engine in good working order. As a result, the plaintiffs contended that they were stranded on the ship for three days in uncomfortably hot and unsanitary conditions.

The defendant argued that the ship’s engines were well maintained and the engine fire was unforeseeable. Evidence showed that the fire started when a fuel pipe cracked and sprayed a small amount of fuel onto an engine. The heat from the engine ignited the fuel. The fire was promptly extinguished with no casualties.

The defendant contended that the situation was well handled by the ship’s crew, and the passengers were safe with adequate food, water, and medical facilities.The case was tried as a bench trial with a combined award of $________ to 25 of the plaintiffs. Of the 33 cases tried, the jury declined to award damages to eight plaintiffs.

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