Princess Cruises Lines Lawsuit Moves Forward
The lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Princess Cruises in Australia and its parent company, Carnival, told the court it was “probably stupid” to believe that the cruise line would be able to effectively handle the outbreak. The lead plaintiff in the class action is a former nurse who testified on behalf of her class. She testified that she and the other plaintiffs were told that there was no coronavirus aboard the ship prior to the excursion. However, she also said it was probably naive to believe that the cruise line had the capacity or the inclination to prevent the outbreak from spreading.
Meanwhile, in the United States, lawsuits against cruise lines that infected passengers aboard their vessels are moving forward slowly—but are unlikely to appear in the courts. Cruise lines have favorable legislation in the U.S. that allows them to force all claims into arbitration. Those who are suing cruise lines can find it very difficult to get their case heard in front of a jury. It is also difficult to form a class from a single event. With American plaintiffs hamstrung by legislation, plaintiffs who died aboard cruise vessels during the early stages of the pandemic may never get compensation for their injuries.
Carnival also plans to fight the allegations in Australia. It remains unclear whether or not Australian plaintiffs will get a payday.
Cruise ships are Petri dishes
It’s important to understand that the spread of infection aboard cruise ships occurs many times faster than it would in the general public. Cruise ships are well known for outbreaks of rotavirus, norovirus, stomach bugs, and whatever else. The fact that people from all over the world are coming together to interact with each other on a cloistered vessel is wonderful until you consider the problem in terms of infection.
So, it’s important to understand that drunk adults eating from buffets all day is likely to increase the spread of infection. In this case, the cruise ships have a real defense. Those who come aboard cruise ships run the risk of getting an infection. In the case of COVID, the infection turned out to be fatal in around 2% of cases which is going to be higher than stomach flu and the common cold. And with COVID being notable for its rate of infection, the only thing the cruise lines could have done was cancel the cruise.
Unfortunately, they chose not to and 28 people died as a result. So, now a determination must be made as to whether or not the cruise line is liable for those deaths. The passengers contend that crew members told them the ship was free of COVID before they embarked. That could be enough to win their case.
Talk to a Miami Maritime Lawyer Today
Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford represents the rights of those suing boat owners and operators. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.