Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines, is facing a proposed class action lawsuit alleging that the company neglected to inform passengers on the Costa Luminosa about potential coronavirus exposure and failed to take the necessary precautions to protect passengers. According to a USA Today article, lawyers allege that passengers “were dragged across the Atlantic in a ticking coronavirus time bomb, which to date has resulted in at least seven deaths.”
Cruise Company Allegedly Negligent
The lawsuit was filed in Florida and alleged that a 68-year-old Italian passenger from a prior voyage who disembarked Feb. 29 showed symptoms of coronavirus. He eventually tested positive for coronavirus and died. But the cruise line failed to disclose the man’s condition before the ship set sail on March 5. The lawsuit states Costa exposed more than 2,000 passengers on the ship to the virus. So far, the deadly virus has killed more than 83,000 people worldwide and has infected more than 1.4 million.
The complaint also states that the ship was not properly cleaned and disinfected between voyages and the company in fact assured passengers that they don’t have to be concerned and that the ship was not affected. However, that was not the case. An outbreak did occur on the ship, which was then denied entry at multiple ports of call.
It took the company two days to send passengers into isolation in their staterooms after learning that an Italian couple had tested positive. France allowed the ship to enter Marseille on March 19 where passengers got off. By then, dozens in the ship had tested positive for COVID-19. The lawsuit also references several cruise ships that warned the industry about the threat of coronavirus. So far, lawsuits have also been filed against Grand Princess Cruise Lines.
The Need for Justice and Accountability
It remains to be seen how far these class action lawsuits go because of antiquated maritime laws. However, as class action attorneys, we are encouraged to see more and more people file these class actions against cruise lines, which have acted irresponsibly. Many have tempted consumers with seemingly amazing deals hoping to lure them on cruises before the coronavirus outbreak forced lockdowns and quarantines.
This was nothing but an attempt to make more money out of vulnerable consumers who had no knowledge that the outbreak was deadly or that the virus was extremely contagious. We hope these plaintiffs get their day in court and that the unscrupulous businesses that caused such widespread harm are brought to justice.