MIAMI (CN) - Carnival Corp. and Cunard Line demand more than $100 million from Rolls-Royce for an allegedly defective propulsion system for the Queen Mary 2. The cruise line companies say Rolls "defrauded and deceived" them into buying a "Mermaid pod propulsion system."
The Mermaid system "was touted by the defendants as the best pod in the industry and also as a proven, well-tested product," the federal complaint states. "These representations were false. The Mermaid turned out to be a defectively designed and built product which was in fact at an experimental stage of its development and seriously under-designed when it was put into operational use.
"From the beginning, Mermaid pods on cruise ships experienced serious problems causing repeated interruption and restriction of operations on the cruise ships on which they were installed. The selection of Mermaid pods for use on the QM2 was made shortly before repeated failures and other problems began occurring on other Mermaid pod equipped cruise ships. ... In fact, several cruise ship operators have instituted legal actions that are currently proceeding in Florida courts against these same defendants for similar failures of the Mermaid pods on their vessels. ...
"Carnival was prepared to delay delivery of the QM2 because they were not convinced that the Mermaid pods were fit for their purpose as a propulsion system. But the defendants claimed, as each problem arose, that each was an isolated incident, that they had carefully studied the problem, and that they could fix the problem so it would not occur again. The defendants also repeatedly represented to Carnival that the problems experienced on other vessels would not occur on the QM2 due to an advanced pod design and improved components used in the pods."
Cunard and Carnival are represented by Maria Isabel Hoelle with Fowler Rodriguez & Valdez of Coral Gables.
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