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Cruise ship malfunction threatens health of passengers and workers

Most people either love or hate the idea of going on a cruise for vacation. The current situation that thousands of passengers and Carnival cruise ship workers find themselves in will likely sway them against wanting to set foot on a cruise ship again, at least in the near future.

After the ship Carnival Triumph left port from Texas last week, its passengers and workers probably didn't think that the trip would go the way it has. Instead of enjoying the sun during a trip through the Gulf of Mexico, those on the ship are reportedly waiting to disembark in order to get away from human waste, the lack of air conditioning and the lack of food.

Last Sunday, a fire in the vessel's engine room left the boat's propulsion system broken. Much of the electricity in the boat is not working and that has impacted the toilet system throughout the cruise ship. Some passengers claim that they've had to go to the bathroom in bags due to the lack of working toilets. Some also complain that the food on the ship is so limited that passengers have begun hoarding and fighting over food.

Clearly, the conditions on what's supposed to be a luxury cruise liner are less than luxurious. While the health and safety of the paying passengers is important, the safety of the Carnival workers shouldn't be ignored. Exposure to human waste is a health threat. Also, with the propulsion and stabilization systems not working, the vessel is vulnerable to the forces of nature. And what if the initial fire had spread and injured or killed a worker?

Those who work on a vessel like a cruise ship and are injured or get sick because of the job have legal options that differ from other workers.

Source: CNN, "Supplies reach befouled cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico," Mark Morgenstein, Ben Brumfield and Mike Pearson, Feb. 13, 2013

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*Trent Bond is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

**Trent Bond was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as a Texas Super Lawyer (a Thomson Reuters service).

***Chris Portner was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2007 and 2008 as a rising star (a Thomson Reuters service).

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******Trent Bond has been recognized as a "Superb Lawyer 10" by Avvo inc.

*Trent Bond is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

**Trent Bond was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as a Texas Super Lawyer (a Thomson Reuters service).

***Chris Portner was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2007 and 2008 as a rising star (a Thomson Reuters service).

****Trent Bond is a Peer Reviewed AV rated attorney designated by Martindale Hubbell a Lexis Nexis company.

*****Trent Bond and Chris Portner are both members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

******Trent Bond has been recognized as a "Superb Lawyer 10" by Avvo inc.