Princess Cruises Issues Response Over Coronavirus Allegations
Another couple has joined the cavalcade of litigation against the Carnival Cruises subsidiary, Princess Cruises. If you recall, the Grand Princess and Princess Diamond were among the first hot spots for the coronavirus outbreak. Guests were trapped onboard in their cabins. Later, allegations came out that the cruise line knew that some of their guests had fallen ill with symptoms that mirrored those of the coronavirus. They have filed lawsuits alleging negligence and hope to recover damages related to their injuries.
The Current State of Coronavirus/Cruise Ship Litigation
While Carnivale and Princess are not the only cruise lines that are facing coronavirus lawsuits, theirs are among the most famous and will likely provide the cornerstone for future litigation related to the coronavirus.
The question that the plaintiff’s attorneys will be asking is: When did the first cases of coronavirus occur aboard the cruise ship and when did cruise ship personnel become aware of the issue? Was there a conscious choice made to continue on the tour despite the knowledge that the virus was spreading?
In this case, it will be very important to the plaintiff’s case to prove that Princess Cruises and the individuals responsible for the ship knew that some guests had departed with symptoms of the virus. This is because the plaintiffs are alleging gross negligence and intentional battery among the complaints leveled against Princess Cruises.
Intentional Battery Versus Negligence
The plaintiffs in this most recent case are alleging that the crew knew that a virus outbreak began aboard the ship and had enough cause to suspend operations. They further claim that in the process of deciding to continue taking on passengers, they intentionally exposed their and guests to the contagion. That would require an intentional indifference to human safety and suffering. Hence, punitive damages are appropriate for this case.
The cruise line, in response, told the press that their commitment to the safety of their guests and crew is their primary concern, but they refused further comment—a fairly boilerplate response to allegations in a lawsuit.
We can guess, however, what the cruise line’s argument will be. They will say that they were not in a position to know whether or not their passengers had the coronavirus or not. They were not doctors. At the time of the outbreak, there were no tests. Remember, this outbreak occurred early last March which was even before the quarantine went into effect.
Another thing to bear in mind is that viral infections are quite common aboard cruise ships where they spread like wildfire. So an outbreak would not necessarily be a strange occurrence. It just happened to be the deadly virus that we’ve spent the past year dealing with. That’s at the minimum simple negligence and perhaps not negligence at all, since anti-contagion procedures were not put into place yet.
Talk to a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured aboard a cruise ship, call the Miami admiralty & maritime attorneys at Michael F. Guilford today to learn more about our services and how we can help.