Exposed to Coronavirus on a Cruise? You Need to Talk to a Fort Lauderdale Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Now
Thousands of people have taken cruises in the weeks since the novel coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in early January. Even more have served as crew members on ships and come into contact with passengers and crew members from recent sailings. If you or a loved one count yourselves among this growing population, have come down with symptoms compatible with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), have been diagnosed with the virus, or are experiencing mental distress as a result of your exposure to the virus, you may be entitled to compensation. The only way to know for sure, though, is to speak with a Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident attorney as soon as possible.
South Florida Cruise Passengers Seek $1 Million for COVID-19 Exposure
Take the case of a Broward County couple that was exposed to the novel coronavirus while sailing on the Grand Princess cruise ship in February. They are now suing the cruise line in federal court for putting them at risk, and they are seeking $1 million in damages.
According to news reports, the former cruise passengers, a husband and wife, are alleging that Princess Cruise Lines put them in grave danger of contracting the novel coronavirus. Specifically, they are saying that the cruise ship company knew that others on that same ship had become sick with COVID-19 on a previous sailing.
The couple’s cruise began on February 21. Nobody mentioned to them that people with COVID-19 had been on the ship before. Nobody screened them or any of the other passengers. Yet just four days later, Princess notified each and every person who had been on the previous sailing of that very same ship that they had been traveling with people who were COVID-19 positive.
The couple claims they were put in danger of imminent injury, and that they are suffering from emotional distress. They would never have stepped foot on that ship had they known about the dangers they were being subjected to.
While every case is different — and there is no substitute for consulting with a Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident lawyer to find out if your situation gives rise to a personal injury lawsuit — the following may help you better understand how and why the cruise lines could be responsible if you or a loved one were exposed to COVID-19 while cruising.
Cruise Travel and the Coronavirus
As the novel coronavirus continues to grow into a worldwide pandemic, US government officials have been ramping up their warnings about the dangers of travel.
Last Sunday, the US State Department advised all US citizens — particularly travelers with underlying health conditions — to avoid travelling by cruise ship. A day before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings of its own about the increased risk for a COVID-19 infection in a cruise ship environment, going so far as to issue a No Sail Order for cruise ships, suspending them from US ports of call for 30 days. In its order, the CDC specifically states that “cruise ship travel may continue to introduce, transmit, or spread COVID-19.”
The Case for Cruise Ship Liability as Explained by a Florida Cruise Injury Attorney
It is well established that cruise lines can be held liable for accidents on cruise ships, as well as health issues and seaborne sickness that are the result of cruise ship negligence.
Historically, the most common types of cruise ship diseases that have been associated with cruise ship travel have included:
- Norovirus, often referred to as the stomach flu, a highly contagious and common affliction on cruise ships
- Food poisoning, caused by unsanitary food preparation practices
- Legionnaire’s Disease, a life-threatening bacterial infection that can result from a cruise ship’s failure to properly maintain pools and hot tubs
In past instances where individuals have come down with a disease during or after a cruise and have been able to show that the illness resulted from an action or inaction on the part of the cruise ship, they have been able to sue the cruise line and receive compensation for their out of pocket expenses as well as their pain and suffering.
The same may be true for anyone who contracted COVID-19 on a cruise ship or even possibly, as with the case of the couple discussed above, with anyone who was placed in such a dangerous position that they suffered mental distress as a result.
You May Have Been Knowingly or Negligently Put at Risk
You may be left wondering if the cruise ship companies knew that they were putting passengers like you in harm’s way. Just a sample of the questions you should be discussing with a Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident lawyer are:
- Did the cruise companies know that crew or passengers on board their ships had or had been exposed to COVID-19?
- Did the cruise company inform you of the risks you were taking?
- If you were quarantined on a cruise ship, did the cruise line do everything it could to protect you? Did it do everything it should have done?
- Has your life been negatively impacted by the cruise ship exposure to coronavirus?
If the cruise line put you at risk, they could be guilty of negligence, which could entitle you to compensation.
How a Fort Lauderdale Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been a passenger or a crew member on a cruise ship and been diagnosed with or have reason to believe that you were exposed to coronavirus, we encourage you to visit us online or call 954-371-2724 for a free consultation.