Former passengers are currently suing Carnival Corporation-owned company Princess Cruises, accusing company's management and staff-crew of knowingly exposing them to Coronavirus (COVID-19). In one case, the decision to continue boarding guests caused a client's death.
The most recent case involves Susan and Michael Dorety from Texas USA. They boarded a Princess cruise ship on February 21. According to court documents, Michael Dorety became ill while onboard. He later passed away from Coronavirus complications. Susan also contracted COVID-19.
In a statement, Rusty Hardin (Houston TX lawyer who represents the couple) said it was shocking that "a cruise line that had just discharged coronavirus-infected passengers took onboard a new group of passengers to then mingle with others who had been exposed," referencing the February outbreak on a Princess cruise ship in Japan.
Another family also suing Princess Cruises is Missouri couple Debra and Michael Dalton. They allege the ship's crew knew about the outbreak but didn't do enough to safeguard them from exposure during their Hawaii cruise. Court documents state passengers "were simply asked to fill out a piece of paper confirming they were not sick" when boarding the cruise ship.
The lawsuit states that "despite the knowledge and experience it had with the outbreak of the disease on the Diamond Princess just a mere three weeks prior to the February 21 cruise, Princess Cruise didn't have proper screening protocol in place to minimize the risk of exposure of the disease to its passengers and crew."
Lawsuits are piling up as the industry is suffering from the impact of the pandemic on business. The US Department of State advised Americans not to board cruise ships. Fewer clients cost US cruise companies nearly USD 750 million since January 2020, according to financial reports.
Travellers might have a tough time winning the cases because all major cruise companies make passengers sign a contract prior to boarding that releases them from certain liabilities, including death.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.