Our Firm is Representing Cruise Ship Passengers, Crew Members and Their Families in Class Action Lawsuits Related to the Coronavirus Outbreak
It has become clear that the global cruise industry dramatically mismanaged the coronavirus outbreak and in so doing put the lives of thousands at tremendous risk. Based on this, we are actively handling both passenger and crewmember cases against all of the major cruise lines related to the COVID19 pandemic. And you do NOT have to be a US citizen to seek our assistance, we have helped passengers and crew from all over the world for nearly 50 years!
Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, passengers and crew members onboard numerous cruise ships have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Tragically, some of these individuals have lost their lives. Among those who have survived, some have been able to recover with minimal effects, but many are facing lifelong consequences.
Our firm has just filed the first of what we expect to be several class action lawsuits on behalf of cruise ship passengers, crew members and family members related to the COVID-19 outbreak. As we recently discussed, cruise ship companies have a legal obligation to keep their passengers and crew members safe, and early investigations have indicated that many companies failed to meet this obligation by allowing the novel coronavirus to spread throughout their cruise ships’ common areas and individual cabins.
We will be pursuing compensation awards for our clients, and we expect many more cases to come to light as victims continue to come forward. You can view information about our current coronavirus cruise ship class actions here:
Passenger COVID-19 Cases
Celebrity Eclipse – This Class Action lawsuit deals with Defendant CELEBRITY’s careless and continuous decision to continue sailing the Celebrity Eclipse despite knowing of the dangerous and explosive contagiousness presented by a COVID-19 outbreak aboard the vessel. As alleged, on or about March 2, 2020, a person(s) aboard the vessel displayed flu-like symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Despite knowing that COVID-19 was likely present aboard the vessel, CELEBRITY failed to follow even the most basic safety precautions after acquiring such notice, such as timely quarantining passengers and crew members aboard the vessel, timely providing passengers and crew members masks and/or timely requiring them to observe physical distancing measures. Instead, Celebrity continued to operate the vessel as normal, allowing a “full schedule of entertainment, activities and dining options” aboard the vessel. For example, on March 21, 2020, CELEBRITY arranged and held a gathering of hundreds of passengers and crew members aboard the vessel to recognize the heroics of medical professionals and first responders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Astoundingly, CELEBRITY did not enforce any physical distancing measures during the event. To make matters worse, CELEBRITY actively attempted to pacify passengers in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the vessel by offering them complimentary alcoholic beverages and downplaying the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak that was ravaging the vessel. Consequently, CELEBRITY negligently exposed thousands of passengers aboard the Eclipse to COVID-19. CELEBRITY’s alleged negligence has already resulted in at least 45 passengers who tested positive COVID-19 once they disembarked the vessel, and at least two COVID-19 related deaths. There are likely significantly more positive COVID-19 cases and/or deaths related to the subject cruise given that there was limited and/or non-existent testing performed aboard the vessel and immediately thereafter when passengers disembarked the vessel without proper screening before returning to their home states/countries.
Costa Luminosa – The Costa Luminosa set sail from Ft. Lauderdale on March 5, 2020, despite the fact that Costa Cruise Lines knew that at least one of the vessel’s passengers from its previous voyage had shown symptoms of COVID-19. When passengers called and expressed hesitation about travelling on the cruise, Costa Cruise Lines misrepresented to them that the vessel was completely safe and that passengers would not be allowed to cancel their trip without forfeiting the money they had already paid. Three days after the vessel left Ft. Lauderdale, the CDC issued a warning that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.” Yet, passengers onboard the Costa Luminosa were not advised of this warning or given the opportunity to go home. Instead, passengers embarked across the Atlantic in a ticking coronavirus time bomb, which has resulted in at least seven deaths (as of April 7, 2020). Our class action complaint against Costa Cruise Lines seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Grand Princess – This Class Action lawsuit involves Defendant Princess cruises knowing and intentional decision to proceed with a 16-day cruise on the Grand Princess knowing at least one of its passengers from the prior voyage had symptoms of coronavirus. As alleged, this fact was concealed from new passengers prior to boarding. Further, the Complaint alleges Princess delayed ordering passengers to isolate in their staterooms after being informed that the passenger who presented to the medical facility with symptoms of the virus on the prior cruise, tested positive for COVID19. And even after the quarantine was ordered across the ship, as alleged, Princess failed to use reasonable care to prevent the further, rampant spread of the virus. In so doing, Defendant Princess Cruises subjected thousands of passengers to the virus. This already resulted in hundreds of positive cases and numerous deaths, including those of families also represented by Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A.
Ruby Princess – This Class Action lawsuit involves Defendant Princess cruises failure to cancel the March 8, 2020, cruise of the Ruby Princess in light of its knowledge that at least one of its passengers from the prior voyage had symptoms of coronavirus. As alleged, Princess concealed from its boarding passengers that there were passengers on the prior voyage with symptoms of the virus. Without surprise, there was a massive outbreak of the virus just as there had been on the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess ships already. As alleged, by March 14, 2020 (after the CDC had entered its no sail order), five passengers developed symptoms of the coronavirus on board the ship. Yet, Defendant took no action and did not inform passengers. Instead, at all times material, passengers were allowed unfettered access to the pools, gym, and buffets and there were even mass gatherings aboard the ship. Defendant Princess’s actions and/or omissions were in direct violation of CDC guidelines for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus. This alleged negligence resulted in hundreds of passengers and crewmembers contracting the virus. The Australian authorities have launched a criminal probe into the handling of this Ruby Princess cruise.
Crewmember COVID-19 Cases
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines – We have filed yet another Class Action lawsuit related to the cruise industry’s dramatic mishandling of the Coronavirus pandemic. This Class Action lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises seeks to help and protect the thousands of crewmembers on Royal Caribbean ships who have been exposed to COVID19 because of Royal Caribbean’s careless and continuous failure to protect its crew. As alleged therein, despite having notice that COVID-19 was likely was present aboard the vessels, Royal Caribbean blatantly failed to follow even the most basic safety precautions, such as timely quarantining crewmembers, timely providing crew members with masks and/or timely requiring social distancing measures aboard the vessels. Instead, in an disturbing lack of caution, RCCL threw St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2020) parties for its crew members aboard the vessels – with over 1,000 crew members in attendance – even after RCCL suspended cruise operations on March 13, 2020. Royal Caribbean also continued to allow its crew members to eat in buffet settings, and even mandated participation in shipboard drills. Royal Caribbean’s flagrant failure to protect its crew has already resulted in hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases and what is more likely thousands given that there is limited testing being done on its ships.
Celebrity Cruise Lines – CELEBRITY CRUISES’s careless and continuous failure to protect its crewmembers assigned to work aboard its cruise ships from COVID-19. The Complaint alleges that despite having notice that COVID-19 was present aboard the ships, CELEBRITY glaringly failed to follow even the most basic safety precautions after acquiring such notice, such as timely quarantining crewmembers, timely providing crewmembers with masks and timely requiring them to observe social distancing measures aboard the vessels. Instead, in an alarming lack of urgency, CELEBRITY allowed its crewmembers to eat in buffet settings aboard the vessels, mandated their participation in shipboard drills, and even permitted crewmembers to attend crew parties. CELEBRITY’s alleged egregious failure to protect its employees already resulted in hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases and what is more likely thousands given that there is limited testing being done on its ships.
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Was Diagnosed with Coronavirus on a Cruise Ship?
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after traveling onboard a cruise ship, we encourage you to contact us promptly. We are pursuing cases on behalf of passengers and crew members, and we can help you take the steps necessary to join one of our existing or future claims.
We are continuing to hear from new passengers, crew members, and family members every day and we intend to seek justice on behalf of all of those harmed by the cruise lines’ failure to properly respond to this pandemic. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COVID-19 onboard any cruise ship operated by any cruise line, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information.
LM&W is Being Featured Internationally Regarding the Coronavirus Class Actions
Additional Resources for Cruise Ship Passengers, Crew Members and Families
These are challenging times for everyone, and it can be difficult to know where to go to find reliable information. If you have questions, in addition to contacting us to speak with one of our maritime attorneys, we encourage you to review the following resources:
- CDC: Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships
- CDC: COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel
- U.S. Department of State: COVID-19 Traveler Information – Cruise Ship Passengers
Discuss Your Cruise Ship Coronavirus Claim for Free
For more information about our firm’s class action lawsuits against the cruise lines related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, contact us for a free consultation. Call (877) 233-1238 or tell us how to reach you online. We are available 24/7.