Covid-19 and Cruise Ship Liability

May 2, 2020
Covid-19 and Cruise Ship Liability

What is Cruise Ship Liability?


U.S. cruise ships are required by law as common carriers to provide their employees and passengers with safe passage and to take reasonable care to ensure that they are protected from harm. When a passenger is injured, they can claim compensation for their injury if they can show that the cruise line operator was reckless or deliberately or purposefully created an unsafe situation. 


To prove negligence or willful intent, the passenger will have to show that the cruise line knew about the danger or should have known about it, or that the ship's operator created a risk. Although witnesses of the crime or accident can support a case, what comes down to is proof. That is where a newly enacted federal law comes in. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act was signed into law in 2010.


Cruise Ship Liability linked to COVID-19


This liability applies if any COVID-19 patients contracted the illness while on a cruise ship. When this happens, they will possibly trace their cruise exposure. A passenger could sue the cruise ship company if it failed to take appropriate measures to protect their safety. 


For example, if crew members fail to identify infected passengers within a reasonable period and separate them from healthy passengers, a healthy passenger who later contracted COVID-19 may have a claim. The law can be complicated in cases involving cruise ships, as the ticket contract imposes restrictions on potential claims.


Grand Princess Cruise Negligence


According to some news articles, Susan Dorety, from the US state of Texas, sued Carnival's Princess Cruise Lines for gross negligence after her spouse, Michael, died of coronavirus late March.   The retired firefighter of 68 years contracted the illness on board the Grand Princess while the couple was on a trip to celebrate their 40th anniversary.


The Grand Princess Cruise Ship, which remained at sea several days until the authorities allowed it to dock in Oakland, California, on March 9, has caused two people dead and over 100 tested positive for coronavirus.


Lawsuits are piling up as the cruise industry suffers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business. The US State Department has told Americans not to travel on cruise ships. As of January, fewer customers have cost U.S. cruise lines almost $750 million, according to financial reports from the company.


If you or a family member was affected with coronavirus on a cruise ship, then please contact a personal injury attorney right here in New Haven, CT.

All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.