Sailing on a cruise ship is a pinnacle of relaxation and convenience for many travelers. Unfortunately, for thousands of travelers, their vacation plans have become a nightmare. Thousands of tourists and cruise line employees are battling the side effects of the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. Many travelers and cruise line employees are now seeking the guidance of a coronavirus cruise ship lawyer because of harm and trauma they sustained as a result of their cruise experience.
Thousands of people have become ill after being exposed to coronavirus on a cruise ship. Thousands of other travelers have also been affected by the outbreaks, quarantines and even being stuck at sea. Cruise line employees and contractors are still battling quarantines, outbreaks and extended time at sea. Their lives have been uprooted in devastating ways.
Our Coronavirus Cruise Ship Lawyer Handles Cases Nationwide
If you or someone you love developed coronavirus while on a cruise ship, you should contact a lawyer right away. At Maritime Injury Guide, our coronavirus cruise ship lawyer handles cases nationwide. From Florida to California – if your life has been impacted by coronavirus on a cruise ship, we can help!
At Maritime Injury Guide, our lawyers are familiar with maritime injury cases of all types. Whether you are a cruise ship passenger, crew member or contractor, contact us. Our primary office is less than an hour from Galveston, Texas. The Port of Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico frequently docks cruise ships. We have helped clients from coast-to-coast understand and protect their rights and get the compensation that they deserve.
Risk Factors for Coronavirus on Cruise Ships
On cruise ships, passengers and crew members share sometimes confined areas of space. Public areas on ships are shared by thousands of people with crowds gathering in close spaces during special events. Also, cruise ships have shared ventilation systems, which mean it is harder for fresh air to circulate through cabins and eradicate airborne germs.
These risk factors quickly all too apparent as cruise lines reported outbreaks onboard cruise ships. Some of the most notable outbreaks include:
- Princess Cruises Ruby Princess – At least 852 illnesses
- Princess Cruises Diamond Princess – At least 712 illnesses
- Holland America Zaandam – At least 250 illnesses
- Celebrity Apex – At least 224 illnesses
- Costa Atlantica – At least 148 illnesses
- Princess Cruises Grand Princess – At least 103 illnesses
These are just some of the more serious cruise outbreaks. Numerous cruise ships have experienced cases of coronavirus or outbreaks. Even though their case totals may not be as significant, they are still alarming.
How Cruise Lines May be Negligent in Handling Coronavirus
The CDC made it clear very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic that cruise ships must detect and contain the virus as quickly as possible. Cruise lines and operators received specific guidelines for handling coronavirus. Unfortunately, many cruise operators failed to follow these guidelines, which has contributed to the severity of the outbreaks on board ships.
At Maritime Injury Guide, our coronavirus cruise ship lawyer is reviewing claims that cruise lines may have been negligent in the following ways:
Cruise Ships Continue to Take on Passengers
In February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deemed cruise travel too dangerous due to the risk of coronavirus. The CDC issued a “No Sail Order” in March 2020. In April 2020, news outlets began reporting that cruise lines were allowing ships to depart with passengers after the CDC had warned against cruise travel. Despite the warnings and well-publicized outbreaks, around 6,300 passengers were allowed to board eight ships to various destinations.
Failure to Warn Passengers and Crew
Another way that cruise lines may have been negligent in their handling of coronavirus is by failing to warn passengers and crew of possible exposure to the virus. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Costa Cruises which operates the Costa Luminosa ship. The lawsuit claims that the company put the lives of more than 2,000 passengers and crew at risk by not informing them that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Just days into their sail, an elderly couple disembarked in Puerto Rico after displaying symptoms of coronavirus. They later tested positive.
The lawsuit further claims that passengers were not immediately told about the couple’s illness, were not advised about the CDC’s travel advisory and were not given the option of disembarking in Puerto Rico. Instead, passengers were only told that the couple tested positive a day after they left the ship. Then another day later, they were asked to self-isolate in their cabins.
According to the lawsuit, passengers suffered severe physical, psychological and emotional distress. The lawsuit is pursuing damages for the victims, and punitive damages against Costa Cruises.
Failure to Follow CDC Guidelines
Another of the ways that cruise lines can be considered negligent is in their failure to follow CDC guidelines. Cruise operators and staff must do the following:
- Follow proper sanitation guidelines for cleaning the ship.
- Staff should cover coughs and sneezes with tissue.
- Report anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus to medical staff.
- If someone tests positive for coronavirus, he or she should quarantine in their cabin.
- Encourage social distancing among crew members and passengers.
Any cruise line that has failed to follow these guidelines could be considered negligent if, as a result, someone on board contracts COVID-19.
Another lawsuit filed on behalf of crew members alleges that Celebrity Cruise ship operators did not follow the CDC’s guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus on board ships. Crew members report that cruise operators held staff parties and encouraged group activities despite social distancing guidelines.
Crew members say that operators did not provide them with face masks or encourage them to social distance. Instead, alcohol was freely available and crew parties drew in crowds of hundreds of crew members. Celebrity Cruise officials have not commented on the lawsuit, but say that they are now practicing social distancing and self-isolation if needed.
Recovering Damages in a Coronavirus Cruise Ship Lawsuit
The only way to determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit or join a class action lawsuit is to consult with a coronavirus cruise ship lawyer. Successful coronavirus cruise ship lawsuits may allow victims to recover compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
At Maritime Injury Guide, we can help you understand your options and how different types of lawsuit could affect the amount of compensation you may receive. We can also explain what types of damages you may qualify for based on your individual situation.
Contact a Coronavirus Cruise Ship Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been impacted by coronavirus on a cruise ship, contact Maritime Injury Guide for support. Our coronavirus cruise ship lawyer can explain your legal rights, options and the legal process. To request a free injury consultation, contact Maritime Injury Guide by calling 1-866-871-8422 or complete our online form.