Court Permits Teenager Strip Searched on Carnival Cruise Ship to Seek Punitive Damages

A year ago I wrote an article about an over-zealous Carnival security officer who allegedly strip searched a 17 year old passenger suspected of possessing pot while aboard the Sensation cruise ship.

The search included a cavity inspection and the girl was told to remove her tampon in front of two male ship officers.  "Lawsuit: Carnival Cruise Lines Strip Searches Girl Looking For Pot

Carnival PR representatives were dismissive of the lawsuit, characterizing the claims as "far-fetched." The cruise line basically called the teenager a liar.

Carnival Sensation Strip SearchThe case has been litigated for the past 11 months. Carnival recently argued that punitive damages should not be permitted because none of the employees involved in the incident were working in a "managerial capacity." Carnival essentially argued that they were just low level employees and any wrongful conduct was not part of any type of policy or procedure condoned by the cruise line.

The federal court disagreed, holding that "the fact that these officers follow directives and protocol from their supervisors does not necessarily mean that they could not also possess the discretion to ultimately determine Carnival's strip search policy." 

The case is now heading toward trial.

Read lawsuit here.

Story credit: Courthouse News Service

Photo credit: Huffington Post

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