Less than 24 hours after their cruise ship docked in Oakland, CA, a Florida couple filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines, seeking $1M in damages over the company’s handling of the coronavirus threat. The couple claims that Princess Cruise Lines put their health and very lives at risk by allowing them to cruise, despite knowing that the ship’s previous voyage resulted in 12 coronavirus cases and one fatality. The couple claims that the ship allowed the cruise to occur, despite the knowledge that some passengers and crew had been exposed to COVID-19. The couple is suing for negligence, averring that they suffered emotional distress and trauma from the fear of potentially developing the disease.
Princess Cruise Lines will likely argue that it was not negligent, as the Cruise Line acted with all due diligence, and no “real” damages were suffered by the couple.
What Do You Think?
Should Princess Cruise Lines be held responsible for someone’s possible exposure to coronavirus? Does the traveler have any responsibility to understand the potential risks of being a passenger on a ship? Does a cruise line have a duty to disclose a serious, contagious illness suffered by passengers on a prior cruise (even if all due care was taken to clean the ship prior to a subsequent voyage)?
Whatever the answer, this is likely not the last lawsuit that will be filed against cruise lines related to potential or actual exposure to COVID-19.
Scott Bonebrake practices law in Media, PA, and has been a licensed attorney for 25 years. Please feel free to contact Scott if you have any legal questions. You can reach Scott at 610-892-7700, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.