Passengers who sailed on the Grand Princess Cruise filed suit against the cruise line for negligence in exposing them to Covid19 and failing to take proper precautions despite being aware that some passengers and crew members were infected. The first mistake alleged in the lawsuit was that after departing from San Francisco for Mexico, four passengers became ill with COVID-19, started showing symptoms and likely exposed dozens of other passengers to the virus. Despite the crew’s knowledge of the virus there was no effective passenger screening in place the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court and names Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruise Lines and Fairlane Shipping as defendants.
A Placer County man aboard the Feb. 11 cruise died after disembarking and became the first California death as a result of the virus. By the time that cruise docked in San Francisco to prepare for a round trip to Hawaii approximately sixty-two passengers, at least two of whom were ill along with over 1,000 crew remained on board the Grand Princess and continued on the ships next voyage to Hawaii. At that time there were still no screening measures in place and no measures had been taken to disinfect or sanitize the ship. The cruise line did not notify passengers who boarded the ship on Feb. 21 that passengers from the previous voyage had reported COVID-19 symptoms or that passengers who stayed on the ship had been exposed to the virus. Passengers were emailed on February 25 about their potential exposure.
The ships crew didn’t begin sanitary measures until on March 3 and on March 4 passengers were notified about their exposure. It was also on March 4 that Governor Newson declared a state of emergency and barred the ship from docking. The ship dropped anchor for a week until the CDC boarded the ship and visited each cabin wearing hazmat suits to examine each passenger. Had the passengers who are now plaintiffs known the passengers from the Grand Princess previous trip had suffered from COVID-19 they would likely not have sailed. One of the plaintiffs, Pamela Guisti was infected with COVID -19 as a “Direct and proximal result of the defendents negligence and gross negligence” the lawsuit alleges.
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