A Royal Caribbean cruise passenger has sued the cruise line operator in a toxic gas exposure incident that occurred aboard a vessel in 2005. According to the lawsuit, Royal Caribbean was aware of the toxic gas leak, but placed the lives of thousands of passengers and several of the crew members on the vessel at risk by continuing to operate the unsafe cruise for months before repairs had been completed.
Monarch of the Seas was in the Port of Los Angeles in September 2005, when the toxic gas exposure occurred. According to the complaint, Royal Caribbean failed to maintain permanent ballast tanks on the vessel. The tanks contained a combination of puper water, seawater and gray water, and this mix generated hydrogen sulfide. Prolonged exposure to hydrogen sulfide can lead to brain injuries and lung damage. Excessive exposure can even cause death. The toxic gas exposure on the cruise ended with one person dead, and three crew members seriously injured.