A group of cruise ship passengers has asked a California federal judge to certify their proposed class action lawsuit holding Princess Cruise Line and its parent company Carnival Corp. accountable for exposing them to COVID-19, according to Law360.

According to the lawsuit filed by Robert Archer and other plaintiffs, the Grand Princess had arrived in San Francisco after a voyage to Mexico, during which at least one person on board was sick with what appeared to be COVID-19-like symptoms. Sixty-two of the voyagers from that trip — including two that were sick — and more than 1,000 crew members remained on the ship. They were joined on Feb. 21 by an additional 2,400 passengers, including the plaintiffs, for a cruise en route to Hawaii.

The lawsuit claims that the ship’s crew knew there were ill people aboard the previous voyage but did nothing to prevent new passengers from exposure to the virus. For example, there was no medical screening of passengers embarking or disembarking, and no sanitizing or disinfecting between voyages. In fact, the passengers remained clueless of this risk until March 4, when they received word that a passenger from the previous voyage had died.

The group of passengers suing the cruise line claim they were all exposed to COVID-19 for the same length of time, were all subjected to the same lack of screening and prevention measures and were all forced to remain in their rooms until the ship was finally able to dock in Oakland on March 9. They claim their proposed class action deserves to be certified because “individual litigation would require the court to hear potentially thousands of cases that raise the same questions of law and fact.”

The Carnival Corp. is also facing another class action involving COVID-19 exposure. That case involves a coronavirus outbreak aboard a ship that set sail in March. Two people on that ship died and the remaining passengers were forced to shelter in their cabins for days.

Class Action Litigation

Beasley Allen handles a variety of class action litigation similar to the one mentioned in this story. Consumer protection issues include cases that address economic losses. These types of claims are often handled in class action litigation, which involves joining a large number of people together in consolidated litigation against a company or other entity whose actions resulted in financial harm to the consumer. We are currently handling a number of class action lawsuits involving defective auto products and security failures that led to data breaches. For more information for these types of claims, contact Clay Barnett or Leslie Pescia, lawyers in our Consumer Fraud Section.


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