Lawsuits brought against cruise lines by passengers who were infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) are still pending. What this means is that we do not yet understand how the courts will rule in these cases and that the outcome of many lawsuits will set a legal precedent for these situations.
Right now, such litigation includes:
- At least one class-action lawsuit
- Multiple individual lawsuits
The goal of the lawyers handling these cases is to establish that because the cruise lines did not take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of passengers, they should be held liable for their resulting damages.
Cruise Ships Were Hot Spots for Coronavirus
In the earliest days of intensive coronavirus media coverage in the United States, it became clear that those on cruise ships—particularly people who had traveled to Southeast Asia and other at-risk regions—were in danger of contracting the virus.
Some of the reasons why cruise ships were conducive to the spread of the disease include:
- The close quarters and common areas shared by passengers
- The density of people in a confined space
- How the virus can live on surfaces for several hours or days
- The lack of medical care aboard these ocean liners
- Travel to areas that had been subject to coronavirus outbreaks
If you file a lawsuit for damages following a coronavirus infection, your legal team will need to establish that the cruise line should have taken measures to promote passenger safety but did not. This may qualify as a breach of their duty of care, which will be factored into the basis of your claim.
Existing Lawsuits Against Cruise Liners
Right now, there are lawsuits pending against Princess Cruises, which oversaw the launch of the Grand Princess. This ocean liner, which carried more than 3,500 passengers, resulted in over 100 coronavirus infections and at least two deaths, according to a USA Today article.
These claimants are arguing that the cruise line failed to take into account the dangers of the coronavirus and allowed passengers to travel, despite warnings from the CDC.
Some actions on the part of the cruise line that could qualify as negligence include:
- A general lack of preparedness for an outbreak
- Passengers being unaware of previous coronavirus cases that occurred on the ship, which impacted their ability to make informed decisions
- Failure to prevent potentially infected passengers from boarding the ship
It remains to be seen whether juries will find these cruise lines guilty of negligence or whether the companies will settle with plaintiffs before a verdict becomes necessary.
The Legal Cases Against Cruise Lines
The legal teams overseeing litigation against various cruise lines will need to establish the four elements of negligence.
- Duty of care. The cruise lines in question had a duty of care to protect their passengers from a reasonable risk of harm.
- Violation of duty of care. By accepting passengers during a virus outbreak, the party in question breached their duty of care.
- Causation. As a result of the cruise lines traveling, many passengers either contracted the coronavirus or were exposed to the infection firsthand.
- Damages. Because passengers were exposed to the virus, many people suffered extensive medical bills, life-altering complications, or passed away.
If cruise ships were held to the legal standards of land-based businesses, it seems clear that passengers were put at risk due to negligent action. Yet, because cruise lines travel in open waters, they are not subject to the same laws followed on the American mainland. The details of these laws will become clearer as the legal process unfolds.
Possible Damages if You Contracted Coronavirus on a Cruise Ship
The outcomes of these pending legal cases are difficult to predict.
Yet, if they are successful, claimants may be able to recover:
- The direct cost of coronavirus-related medical care
- Income that passengers lost due to being stuck on the ship or infected by the disease
- The loss of earnings and other financial benefits provided by passengers who passed away after contracting the virus
- The cost of pain and suffering by cruise ship passengers
Claimants may be able to pursue damages that we have not listed here.
Call Our Team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today
Just recently, two of our close loved ones traveled aboard a cruise ship where there was a coronavirus outbreak. This inspired us to advocate for the rights of those who were impacted by the disease and hold the cruise lines accountable for their negligence by making them compensate passengers who caught the coronavirus.
We provide honest, personal representation, and you will have the opportunity to work directly with our partners on your coronavirus-related lawsuit.
Call our team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation.