Friendswood woman sues Carnival Cruise Lines: ‘I want them to tell the truth’

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 12:08 PM

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas -- Thirty-three people who were aboard the Carnival Triumph last year have sued the cruise line. Debra Oubre of Friendswood is one of them. She said she has not been the same since the ill-fated voyage in February of 2013.

"I get up. I open my door. I literally see in the hallway what looks like a black wall moving towards us," said Oubre.

The ship was crippled by a fire and ended up having no air conditioning, inadequate food supplies and overflowing toilets.

"A lot of us suffered dehydration, myself included,” said Oubre. “I lost weight. I had a urinary tract infection."

She said the emotional fallout has been worse.

“I can’t describe it,” said Oubre. “I feel anxious and the nightmares, not being able to breathe because at night we had overflowing toilets. It was sewage, raw sewage."

She is part of a group asking for damages in a Miami Federal Court. Oubre said she cannot put a number on her pain and suffering.

The Triumph has been dubbed by some of the 3,100 passengers who were on board as “the floating toilet” and “the floating Petri dish.”

Oubre said everyone she saw on board had stomach problems and she wants Carnival to change its practices so that no one ever goes through what she and her group went through.

"I want them to tell the truth, and I want them to be accountable for what they put all of us through,” said Oubre.

The suit is being tried before a judge, not a jury. Federal Judge Donald Graham in Miami could possible make a ruling in a couple of months.

In a pre-trial ruling he called Carnival negligent. Oubre and other plaintiffs see that as a very good indication of how the case may go.

Carnival could not be reached for comment today.

Oubre said Carnival refunded the cost of the Triumph cruise, gave passengers $500 and a free future cruise which she has taken.

She reports no problems with that voyage.

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