A group of passengers suing Carnival cruise lines for damages after an engine fire left their ship adrift for days are asking the company to pay $5,000 a month for the rest of their lives for medical bills and mental anguish.Or, if the fine print on the tickets they bought gets tossed as a "contract of adhesion" by sympathetic judges, then you could blame the cruise lines for overreach in attempting to avoid liability for most everything under the sun and above the sea.
A lawsuit brought by 33 passengers of the ill-fated 2013 voyage could change how cruise lines insulate themselves from legal actions, according to maritime legal experts.
You could blame the engineering of the cruise ships or perhaps their construction or maintenance.
You might expect lawsuits on such matters to be lined up end to end in the federal courts . . . and you would just be seeing the crowd chasing the visions of pots of money at the end of the cruise ship rainbow.
However it shakes out, if these cases succeed, I suspect that the cruise business will decline in capacity and increase in cost, which usually spells doom for an industry.
$5000 a month for life? Nice retirement plan. Could probably afford to take some cruises . . . oh, wait.
Personally, I'm sueing the ocean for being a difficult and hazardous environment, as well as moving around and stuff.ReplyDelete
Meanwhile in today's episode of silly bean counter tricks:
Navy Revises Rules For Counting Ships
The Navy has changed the guidelines for quantifying ships considered part of the battle force to reflect the role played by support vessels deployed under a regional command, a move that will also increase the nominal size of the current force, the service said Tuesday.
The new rules will add mine countermeasure ships, patrol craft, high speed transport vessels and the Navy's two hospital ships to the overall force size, but only when they are deployed under a combatant command, Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, a Navy spokeswoman, said.
The purpose of the revised guidelines is to give "greater visibility"
to how the Navy uses its ships and to highlight the demand for the vessels by commands around the world, Lawrence said.
The topic is likely to arise during testimony by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. In a statement, Mabus said the new rules are designed to show the role of the ships in meeting the requirement outlined in the Pentagon's worldwide maritime strategy.
"We periodically assess the rules of how we count ships, and these changes better reflect the demands of our combatant commanders and the current mission requirements of our Navy's battle force," Mabus said.
"These changes provide us with the flexibility we need to ensure we have the right ships, with the right capabilities, in the right location, to execute what is required of our maritime forces under the Defense Strategic Guidance."
The amended approach now means the Navy has a battle force of 291 ships, up from 283 counted under the previous rules. Those numbers can fluctuate in either direction as new ships are introduced to the fleet and old ones are retired. The new guidelines mean the Navy will reach a fleet size of 300 by 2018, one year ahead of Mabus' goal of reaching that size, Lawrence said.
"As ships come and go, that number will be somewhat flexible," she said. The revised rules leave unchanged how the Navy counts traditional warfighting ships in the fleet, such as aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers and submarines.
I'm a bit unclear on how accounting tricks are going to create more hulls at sea, but what do I know.