Various cruise lines may have failed to protect their crews from coronavirus (COVID-19) by:
- Continuing to onboard new passengers and sail despite previously-known cases of COVID-19 onboard the ship
- Instructing crew members to continue working in an environment that was likely to be contaminated with COVID-19
- Failing to have sufficient virus prevention systems in place
These are just a few of the ways that some cruise lines failed to act responsibly—not only with respect to their crew members’ health, but also the health of paying customers.
Cruise Ship COVID-19 Outbreaks Abound
Early reports of COVID-19 became seemingly synonymous with cruise lines, as it became apparent that a cruise ship was a high-risk environment for an outbreak (and several cruise ships had experienced at least one case of the virus).
Some of the cruise ships that reported at least one case of COVID-19 include:
- Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess
- Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess
- Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess
- Costa Cruises’ Costa Luminosa
Some of the parent companies that had at least one cruise ship under their watch experience at least one COVID-19 infection include:
- Princess Cruises
- Holland America
- Royal Caribbean International
The cruise industry has been uniquely impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks, both among crew members and passengers. The Miami Herald recently reported that three crew members from Royal Caribbean’s liner Oasis of the Seas have now died as a result of COVID-19 infection.
The decisions of each individual cruise ship company’s leadership may have varied, and therefore each company’s level of possible negligence may vary—though there appears to be some overlap in terms of negligence across many cruise companies.
Possible Forms of Negligence by Cruise Ship Leadership
There are an array of headlines and facts that exhibit how various cruise lines failed their crews and customers as COVID-19 began to emerge as an international health threat.
Some specific examples of possible negligence include:
- Crew members aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas have been detained on board the ship with no indication of when they may be able to depart, per The Miami Herald. This may not be the only cruise ship where cruise lines failed to protect their crews from coronavirus and seemingly inhumane conditions.
- Passengers and crew members on Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess may have been exposed to—and eventually infected by—COVID-19 because of a disorganized approach to testing and de-boarding those who were not initially infected with the virus, according to Business Insider.
Aside from these two specific cases, there are some general themes among several different cruise ships which may have exposed crew members and passengers to imminent danger, and ultimately illness or death. Some of these themes include:
- A general lack of preparedness for a viral outbreak, despite the possibility of a virus entering an international cruise liner being a realistic possibility even before COVID-19
- Decisions to continue onboarding thousands of new passengers (and new crew members) despite previously having at least one reported case of COVID-19 on board—an apparent signal of valuing profits over safety
- Failure to properly sanitize the ship after a case of COVID-19 emerged
- Insisting on docking and deboarding in previously uninfected ports, which may have subsequently become infected by passengers disembarking from a cruise line
- Providing incorrect information about the number of infected passengers to health authorities at ports, a decision which likely contributed to subsequent on-land outbreaks
These decisions put passengers, crew members, and those who would come into contact with these parties at risk of being infected with COVID-19 and potentially (or ultimately) dying. If you or a loved one was somehow affected by negligence by cruise lines’ decision-makers, then you may have grounds to bring or join a lawsuit.
A Lawyer Will Assist You With Your Cruise Ship Lawsuit
You may have reason to bring a lawsuit against a cruise line (and possibly other parties) if:
- You were a crew member on a ship where a COVID-19 outbreak occurred
- You were a passenger on a ship where a COVID-19 outbreak occurred
- You were detained for an indefinite period of time, regardless of whether COVID-19 was detected on the ship you were aboard
- You were ultimately infected as part of an outbreak linked to one or more cruise ships
Speaking with a lawyer may give you a better understanding of your eligibility for a lawsuit. If you are eligible and choose to move forward, a lawyer may:
- Identify any class action lawsuits which you are eligible to join
- Bring a personal injury lawsuit against those who put you at risk of infection
- Research the circumstances of your case—and the actions of the specific cruise ship in question—to build your case for compensation
- Handle all of the legal responsibilities necessary to complete your case
- Defend your rights
You could be entitled to compensation for various losses related to a cruise line’s negligence.
How Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Can Help
Our partners work with clients directly to ensure they receive personal, honest representation. We will handle your COVID-19 cruise ship lawsuit from start to finish, so call us at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation.