While USA Today reports that several coronavirus lawsuits have been filed against cruise lines on which passengers were infected with coronavirus and that those cases have yet to be settled. As a result of their pending status, it is not clear to what extent cruise ships are liable for passengers who were infected with coronavirus while onboard their vessels.
While cruise ships are generally subject to maritime law and other acts such as the Death on the High Seas Act, they are generally liable for bodily harm suffered by passengers—when that harm is the result of negligence by cruise ship ownership or crew members. This means that you may have grounds for a lawsuit if you or a loved one was infected with coronavirus while on a cruise ship and you’re wondering how are cruise ships liable for passengers who were infected with the coronavirus.
Multiple Cruise Lines Failed to Protect Passengers
Cruise ships generally have a fair amount of protection from litigation. For example, cruise passengers sometimes forfeit their right to bring class-action lawsuits against a cruise line for certain types of harm, whether they are aware of forfeiting this right or not.
A passenger who suffers bodily harm while on a cruise ship or is put at an imminent risk of danger may be eligible to file a lawsuit against responsible parties. This presumption is supported by legislation such as the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, which imposed several obligations on cruise liners to preserve the safety of their passengers.
Lawsuits involving cruise ships’ handling of the novel coronavirus will test cruise ships’ liability for widespread passenger outbreaks. According to The Hill’s reporting, cruise passengers allege mishandling of coronavirusin class-action lawsuit that suggests:
- Various cruise lines were aware of coronavirus-infected passengers who were on the ship. Despite this, lawsuits allege that decision-makers at the cruise lines re-filled the ship for a new voyage without warning new passengers about previous coronavirus cases on the ship.
- This act put new passengers at a near-inevitable risk of coronavirus infection.
- Those who were infected—and especially those who died—by eventual coronavirus infection originating from the cruise ships were put in harm’s way by the cruise lines’ decision-makers.
If the question is are cruise ships liable for passengers who were infected with coronavirus, the ultimate answer is up to the courts. If courts determine that cruise lines knowingly put passengers at risk of infection, did not respond appropriately as the virus began to spread (or did both), then it seems difficult to argue that the lines are not responsible for bodily harm caused by the coronavirus.
Cruise Ships Passengers’ Coronavirus Symptoms
Multiple passengers on vessels owned by Carnival subsidiary Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises have died because of coronavirus-related symptoms. At least 100 more have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, while at least 32 cruise ships in total have been impacted by the coronavirus to some degree.
Along with the risk of death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that passengers could experience some combination of:
- High fever
- Persistent coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Confusion or lack of consciousness
- Lack of oxygen
As lawsuits evolve, those in groups at higher risk for severe illness caused by coronavirus may have even stronger arguments that their health was compromised by the decisions of cruise ship managers. CDC reports that such groups may include:
- Those who are considered elderly
- Those with underlying health conditions affecting the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys
- Those who are technically obese
- Those who are pregnant
If you’re asking are cruise ships liable for passengers who were infected with coronavirus because you or a loved one was infected while on a cruise ship or just after departing a cruise ship, then you may have grounds for legal action. You may also have a case for compensation if you were a passenger on a ship where one or more coronavirus cases occurred, even if you did not catch the virus.
Taking Action After a Coronavirus Cruise Experience
If you were quarantined on a cruise ship where one or more coronavirus cases occurred, you may have suffered various losses and traumas. These may include:
- Fear that you would become infected—or actually being infected
- The anxiety that comes with being stuck on a cruise ship for an indefinite period of time
- Being deprived of adequate medical care and precautions amidst a ship-wide outbreak
- Being unable to return to your job, and losing income as a result
These are just a few of the many losses suffered by cruise ship passengers across the nation and the world. If you or a loved one believe that cruise ship management mishandled the coronavirus in any way, you may be able to take legal action.
Call a Legal Professional to Speak About Your Case
The experience of being marooned on a cruise ship where an outbreak occurred is one that you will not soon forget, especially if you or a loved one were ultimately infected with the coronavirus. You may have grounds to file a lawsuit based on the details of your cruise ship coronavirus experience.
Call Our Team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today
The team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers has personal ties to those who were put at risk by apparent negligence of cruise ship owners and operators. We will provide you with personal, honest representation as you recover or come to grips with the trauma you have endured.
Call our team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation.