Saturday, March 31, 2012

Judge Holding Carnival Triumph In Galveston

Legal Motion
Filed in Galveston
Carnival Triumph
Departure Held

In a bizarre turn of events, a Federal Judge issued an order  holding the Carnival Triumph in the port of Galveston.

UPDATE:  Carnival Triumph to Sail on Schedule after Carnival Corp. reaches an agreement with the Federal Court

Result of Costa Concordia Litigation
The litigation in question relates to a $10M lawsuit brought about by a passenger who sailed on the Costa Concordia in Italy this past January. The Costa Concordia is a vessel operated by Costa Cruises. Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruises are both part of a global organization called Carnival Corporation & plc, however, the two cruise lines operate completely independently.

Port of Galveston Director Mike Mierzwa recommended passengers continue on with plans to sail today in the event Carnival can resolve legal issues.

A federal judge Friday ordered the cruise ship held in Galveston as part a $10 million lawsuit filed by the family of a German tourist who died aboard the Costa Concordia shipwreck off the Italian coast, according to Bloomberg news service.

The Triumph apparently was ordered held because it is home-ported in Galveston, which is in the U.S. District Court system's Southern District of Texas. It was not clear why the litigation was filed in Texas rather than in some other federal district. 

“The court finds that the conditions for an attachment of defendants’ joint and collective property within this district, mainly the MS Carnival Triumph, appear to exist upon an admiralty and maritime claim,” U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner of Galveston said in the warrant, Bloomberg reports.

The Carnival Triumph would be allowed to unload passengers and cargo and move between berths within the port until a “prompt hearing” can be scheduled, at which “the plaintiff shall be required to show why the attachment and garnishment should not be vacated,” according to the order, Bloomberg reports.

Senior Carnival Cruise Director, John Heald writes on his blog:
"We want to assure you that we are working diligently through the appropriate legal channels to get this matter resolved as soon as possible. We are optimistic the issues regarding the Carnival Triumph will be resolved and the ship will depart on its scheduled voyage later today.

In the meantime, we are proceeding with our normal embarkation process."

Carnival Triumph is scheduled to depart at  6 PM local time on a five-day cruise to Yucatan and Cozumel.

According to John Heald,  the safety briefing has been held and the U.S. Marshall's should be clearing the ship for an on-time departure.   2012 continues to be an abnormal year for the cruise industry.

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