Ruby Princess Investigated Over COVID-19 Deaths
You’ve likely heard of the Grand Princess and the Princess Diamond as two of the earliest locations where COVID-19 cases surged. Well, a third vessel is now under investigation after several passengers fell ill and at least a few died. The Ruby Princess recently embarked in the Philippines to drop off workers who were waylaid aboard the vessel since the outbreak began.
The Ruby Princess is one of several vessels that are currently home to some 5,000 Filipino workers all docked in the Philippines to await testing so that they could rejoin their families. However, at least 20 Ruby Princess passengers have died from the virus, 19 Australians and 2 Americans.
Meanwhile, the Australians have launched their own investigation. They are trying to determine why the Ruby Princess was allowed to disembark 2700 passengers and crew in their largest city, Sydney on March 19—before any of the passengers were able to get tests.
American Family Files Lawsuits Against Princess Cruises
One American family has already filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruises over the Ruby Princess voyage. The family of Chung Chen has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Princess Cruises and is demanding over $1 million in damages.
Meanwhile, thousands of Filipino crew members are still stuck in Manila Bay awaiting tests that would allow them to disembark and rejoin their families. These workers have almost no chance to sue their employer because they work in the labor-unfriendly Philippines where employers enjoy broadscale protections against lawsuits.
That being said, the Filipino economy is built on a labor market that can go offshore and work in the global market. The workers provided by the Philippines have been the backbone of their economy for decades. But with 2,000 workers infected by the virus and the global economy shutting down while the stay at home order remains in place is causing serious problems for the Filipino economy and the many impoverished workers who rely on the cruise and other industries to support their families.
Taking a Look at the Wrongful Death Lawsuit
It’s no secret that cruise lines are often vectors for infectious diseases. Anyone who has been on a cruise has likely contracted rotavirus or e. coli at one point or another. However, the fact that these cruises were still allowed to take passengers while several countries in Asia were being shut down and the virus was wreaking havoc in Italy is something that needs to be accounted for. By the time many of these voyages were taking off, major cities like San Francisco were already imposing shelter-in-place orders to prevent widespread infection. If you move a week into the future, a state of emergency is declared and states are moving to suspend non-essential business.
Talk to a Miami Maritime and Admiralty Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured aboard a cruise ship, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and recover damages. Call Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation.