Princess Cruises Sued After Guests Come Down With Coronavirus
The cruise lines have had a tough run of it lately. Not only did President Trump announce that they would not be eligible for bailouts since they fly under the flags of foreign countries, but Princess Cruises is now facing a series of lawsuits after several of their guests tested positive for the coronavirus.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Princess Cruises
Michael and Susan Dorety boarded the Grand Princess in early March. That’s when Michael fell ill with the virus and later died. His wife has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Princess Cruises. Her allegations are what’s interesting here.
Dorety contends that there was a passenger who was already sick with the virus who was allowed to disembark before Princess Cruises allowed another flood of passengers on the ship. The lawsuit states that this individual had symptoms similar to those noted with the coronavirus. The complaint further states that Princess Cruises did not warn passengers who had disembarked until four days after they disembarked that they may have been exposed to the virus. The complaint also states that Princess Cruises never told the passengers who had just embarked concerning possible exposure to the virus.
Maritime Lawsuits are not Like Other Lawsuits
In cases of injury at sea, there are special provisions that limit compensation when someone tries to file a lawsuit against a cruise ship. Those injured may only sue the cruise line for physical injuries—not emotional or psychological ones. Wrongful death actions are also limited in this regard. Grieving family may not be able to recover damages for emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of companionship and similar damages. Statutes of limitations are shorter and class-action lawsuits are barred by law.
However, a clause buried in the ticket may allow passengers aboard the cruise ship to sue nonetheless. According to one attorney who representing passengers of the Grand Princess, a clause in the ticket allows for claims to be filed if the cruise ship puts its passengers in immediate danger.
The lawsuit is seeking damages in excess of $1 million per passenger who is filing a claim against Princess Cruises. The lawsuits contend that Princess Cruises was grossly negligent and had enough time to prepare for the virus prior to allowing passengers to board the vessel. It also states that the cruise line failed to warn passengers about a possible contagion despite allowing passengers with symptoms of the virus to disembark. The lawsuit contends that Princess Cruises was grossly negligent for exposing their passengers to the virus and should be held liable for putting their passengers in harm’s way.
This lawsuit will be very interesting to watch. If the plaintiffs are successful, Princess Cruises stands to lose a lot of money.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney Today
Have you been injured aboard a cruise ship? If so, you should know that the rules are a little bit different. You will need an attorney well versed in maritime and admiralty law to pursue a lawsuit against a cruise line. Call the Houston personal injury lawyers at Livingston & Flowers today to learn more about how we can help.