Three passengers who were onboard a damaged Carnival cruise liner for five days in February 2013, are suing the cruise line company for $5,000 a year for their life times.

The passengers were amongst the 33 persons who were onboard the ill-fated cruise liner, Carnival Triumph, when it broke down after an engine fire and drifted for five days in the Gulf of Mexico.

The other 30 passengers have filed lawsuits seeking between $2,500 and $5,000 for four to five years, reported Reuters.

According to the passengers, sewage had seeped into the hallways and they had been forced to sleep on deck without any food.

"Ships shouldn’t just catch fire and then have fire suppression systems that don’t work."

Many passengers claimed to suffer from mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and physical ailments such as leg pain, diarrhea, respiratory problems and haemorrhoids, and required the sum to cover medical bill costs.

Carnival said that while it recognises that its guests experienced uncomfortable conditions, everyone safely returned home and had been provided with a full refund, a free future cruise and an additional $500 per person.

A Carnival spokeswoman said this is an opportunistic lawsuit brought by plaintiff’s counsel and plaintiffs who seek to make money.

According to Miami maritime lawyer, Robert Peltz, federal judge Donald Graham has already ruled that the engine catching on fire is negligence on the part of Carnival.

"It would seem rather obvious that ships shouldn’t just catch fire and then have fire suppression systems that don’t work," Peltz said.

After hearing from passengers, lawyers and the cruise line company, a federal court judge in South Florida is expected to issue a judgement in the next two months.