Statement from LM&W:
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. Remarkably, at no time during the subject voyage, did Celebrity enact quarantine and/or physical distancing measures amongst passengers and/or crew members aboard the vessel.
Instead, Celebrity continued to operate the vessel as normal, allowing a “full schedule of entertainment, activities and dining options” aboard the vessel. In other words, despite having knowledge that a COVID-19 outbreak was occurring aboard the vessel, CELEBRITY continued to allow passengers to eat in buffets settings, provide group entertainment activities aboard the vessel (such as dancing) and otherwise allowed passengers to fully participate in the subject cruise as if there was no COVID-19 or threat thereof 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.