Shareholders File Lawsuit Against Royal Caribbean
In the second such lawsuit of its kind, shareholders are targeting Royal Caribbean. The City of Riviera Beach General Employees Retirement System filed a lawsuit on their own and other shareholders’ behalf. The plaintiffs allege that Royal Caribbean misled directors and officers concerning how the coronavirus was impacting bookings and how well their safety protocols were working. Norwegian Cruises was the other cruise line to face a shareholder lawsuit during the coronavirus.
The lawsuit alleges that shareholders who purchased stock between February 4 and March 17 were misled concerning the impact of the coronavirus on the cruise industry.
Allegations Made in the Complaint
The complaint alleges that in early February, Royal Caribbean made severely misleading statements to investors. This included telling investors that the coronavirus was not hurting bookings outside of China. Royal Caribbean further assured its investors and the public that the coronavirus protocols they had in place were “aggressive” and would be capable of “containing” the virus. The lawsuit contends that this misinformation allowed Royal Caribbean stock to trade at an artificially inflated price.
Despite telling shareholders that they were doing okay, Royal Caribbean filed its 2019 Form 10-K which indicated that concerns of the virus were negatively impacting the number of bookings. The report stated that concerns over the virus would likely continue to negatively affect bookings.
Aggressive Measures to Contain the Spread of the Virus
Containing a virus and containing the spread of the virus are two very different things. Over 13 Royal Caribbean ships contained passengers who had contracted the virus. The company is also facing crew lawsuits. One lawsuit was brought by the family of a worker who died while working for Royal Caribbean and there is another class-action brought on behalf of more than 1,000 Royal Caribbean workers.
The shareholder lawsuit contends that Royal Caribbean’s measures to contain the spread of the virus were “grossly inadequate” and that Royal Caribbean’s disregard for infectious disease safety actually helped catalyze the spread of the virus all over the world.
Strangely, the cruise company that had the most coronavirus passengers, Carnival Cruises, has not been sued by its shareholders. Carnival has the distinction of have the most passenger lawsuits filed against it over the coronavirus. Similar accusations have been made against the company alleging that they became a major vector for the virus.
As of right now, shareholder lawsuits concerning the coronavirus have been rare. Meanwhile, passenger lawsuits against cruise lines over the coronavirus have faced several setbacks in the courts as many of the plaintiffs have been eliminated from the lawsuit and prevented from becoming a class for the purposes of a class-action lawsuit. It is unclear if COVID-19 passenger lawsuits will be successful.
Talk to a Miami Cruise Line Injury Lawsuit
If you are either a crew or a passenger on a cruise ship, you are entitled to be provided a safe workplace or premises by the cruise company. If a cruise line has failed you in this regard, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. Call Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford today to learn more about how we can help.