Plymouth (UK) passengers take cruise ship company to court for compensation for storm injuries on North Atlantic cruise
Holidaymakers who say they endured a nightmare voyage across the Atlantic when their cruise ship was lashed by high winds have taken their compensation claims to the High Court.
Anthony and Dorothy Watchman, of Treago Gardens, Plymouth, and Susan Latham, of St Stephen's Road, Saltash, were among passengers on board the MV Athena when it was hit by a storm in 2006.
Their claim for compensation has now gone before a judge, who will have to decide whether it is fair for the case to go ahead after a six-year delay.
The ship set off on the 24-day "Maple Leaf Cruise" to New York, New England and Canada in September 2006, with passengers looking forward to visiting Nova Scotia and Maine before sailing into the Big Apple.
But the trip of a lifetime turned into a holiday from hell when the ship hit heavy storms and high winds on its way to North America.
One man was killed falling down a flight of stairs and a number of others were injured as they tumbled from their bunks or fell over as the ship listed in the bad weather.
The Watchmans and Mrs Latham are among 17 passengers who say they were hurt and are now bringing a claim for substantial damages.
Lawyers for the passengers claim the travel company that booked them on the cruise and the ship's owners and operators should be held liable for their injuries because of the "negligent" decision to set out in such bad weather and the lack of proper warnings.