A class action complaint for damages has been brought up against Carnival Corporation, Carnival plc and Princess Cruise Lines due to their handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Sixty-three passengers filed the complaint on behalf of the more than 2,000 passengers aboard Grand Princess on its February 21, 2020 cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii.
The complaint alleges that the defendants (Carnival Corporation, Carnival plc and Princess Cruise Lines) did not effectively sanitize or disinfect the Grand Princess in between voyages and did not implement any measures for screening or testing existing or new passengers boarding the ship for the Hawaii-bound voyage. It adds that the defendants did not notify passengers of the February 21 voyage that passengers from the prior voyage (a February 11 sailing in Mexico) has reported COVID-19 symptoms or that passengers remaining onboard may have been exposed to and infected by the virus.
The complaint claims that increased sanitary precautions did not begin onboard the Grand Princess until on or about March 3, four days after it had departed Hawaii. Passengers, the complaint says, were not informed of the COVID-19 cases until March 4, when they were told the ship would no longer be traveling to Ensenada, Mexico but, rather, directly to San Francisco. Further, the notice alerted passengers to a “small cluster of COVID-19 cases in Northern California” connected to the ship’s previous Mexico trip.
Previously, on April 15, a Texas woman sued Princess Cruise Lines for negligence in her husband’s death. The couple had sailed on the Grand Princess, where he contracted coronavirus, before dying alone in a hospital days later.