An attorney for Royal Caribbean Cruises has confirmed that the company is planning further legal action against Alstom and Rolls Royce for continuing troubles with the Mermaid pod systems used on several Celebrity Cruises ships.

George Fowler ill, managing partner of the law firm of Fowler, Rodriguez & Chalos, told  Cruise Industry News that his firm - which represents Royal Caribbean - is considering filing an action independent of the existing $300 million lawsuit, but is waiting for some legal issues to be worked out before going ahead with new plans.

The line's original case was moved to federal court, but the firm has asked that it be remanded back to state court. A decision on that is still pending - and has been for more than a year. However, a new action could come soon, he said.

"We're waiting to see if the court will remand the case or whether it will go to arbitration, which is what the other side is asking for," Fowler said. "We are considering filing an independent action." Fowler said Rolls-Royce has made attempts to repair the pods, which are on Celebrity's Summit, Infinity, Constellation and Millennium, though the problems haven't been permanently corrected. "It's disappointing that we can't get this thing resolved and that we have to resort to the legal avenue to do that," Fowler said. "We will proceed until we get a resolution."

Royal Caribbean announced at the end of last month that a recently cancelled Vancouver cruise - as well as another cruise on the Summit that was shortened by a day - were expected to "negatively impact Royal Caribbean's second-quarter earnings by approximately $0.04 to $0.05 per share."

The original lawsuit was filed two years ago, after several Celebrity cruises were either cancelled or shortened due to problems with the Mermaid systems. The Millennium, for example, has had more than 10 failures since its launch in 2000.

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