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Coronavirus Suit | COVID-19 Cruise Ship Liability

As the nation continues to adapt in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the lack of precautionary methods taken by several parties has led to increased interest in seeking the assistance of an attorney. One of these parties that has potentially inflicted damages on many Americans is the cruise line industry. Lack of proactive decisions on the part of cruise line management has led to the rapid spread of the disease among passengers and contributed to serious injury to immunocompromised passengers, and there are many questions coming up about COVID-19 cruise ship liability.

Due to its convenient placement in the Gulf Coast, many coastal Texas towns such as Galveston are popular destinations for major cruise line departures. According to the Port of Galveston, 297 sailings from three major cruise lines departed from Galveston harbor in 2019 alone. That means hundreds of thousands of cruise-bound tourists filter in and out of cruise ships docked along the Texas coast every year. If you are one of those passengers and believe that you may have a coronavirus cruise ship claim, contact the Texas injury lawyers at Carabin Shaw today.

CDC Report on Coronavirus Outbreaks Aboard Cruise Ships

The first and most famous example of a coronavirus outbreak occurred on January 20th, 2020 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, when a symptomatic passenger disembarked at the port of Hong Kong. Afterwards, the ship made stops in six more ports in three different countries. By February 15th, all passengers were quarantined to their cabins and testing began. In the end, passengers had to be repatriated by air; U.S. citizens on board were held in isolation when they returned. Ultimately, of the 3,711 people aboard the Diamond Princess (including crew and passengers), 712 tested positive for COVID-19, 37 required intensive care, and 9 ultimately passed away from complications brought on by contracting the virus.

The second major outbreak aboard a cruise ship occurred on the February 11-21, 2020 voyage of the Grand Princess. After two symptomatic patients tested positive for the disease on March 4th, the ship docked in Oakland, California and all passengers and crew onboard were held in isolation on land for two weeks to monitor for symptoms. Sixteen percent of those available for testing tested positive; one death has been reported.

In both of these cases, the cruise lines have been critiqued by the public for their handling of the outbreak aboard. Many passengers were angered, especially in the case of the Diamond Princess, for being required to quarantine aboard instead of disembarking and for the spread of the disease among crew members who were not able to self-quarantine in order to serve the quarantined passengers.

When Would a Cruise Ship be Held Liable for Spread of COVID-19?

If the cruise ship had knowledge of contaminated passengers and did not contain the spread of the disease, they may be held legally liable for not meeting CDC guidelines. Surfaces on cruise ships should be consistently sanitized and if a passenger is known to have contracted coronavirus they must be quarantined in their cabin; if they must leave their cabin for an emergency, they should be required to wear a mask in common areas. A cruise ship could be held liable if they do not follow proper sanitization guidelines or quarantine protocol as soon as they become aware of an outbreak aboard. A lawyer could help you to investigate any potential COVID-19 cruise ship liability.

Could an Attorney Help Me to Seek Fair Compensation for Damages?

A lawyer can help determine if you have a valid coronavirus cruise ship claim. If you or a loved one has contracted COVID-19 during a cruise vacation, please contact our Texas injury lawyers at Carabin Shaw by calling toll-free at 1-800-862-1260.

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