Going on a cruise should be a fun and relaxing experience. Many Florida residents go on cruise vacations each year, especially since many cruise ships leave from coastal Florida cities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously harmed the cruise industry, as several ships have had outbreaks of the virus over the past several months. Cruise ships, while typically safe, can be breeding grounds for infectious illnesses, due to the large numbers of people in close proximity to each other all the time.
Recently, Congress opened up a probe into Carnival Corporation which operates Princess Cruises. According to a news report covering the probe, the federal government is concerned with how Carnival handled COVID-19 outbreaks on its ships and is requesting that they turn over all documents and communications about their COVID-19 response. The investigation is led by the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is specifically looking into how much Carnival executives knew about the severity of the outbreaks, and whether it took appropriate responsive action. Since the outbreaks began several months ago, there have been over 1,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the ships, and dozens of guests and crew members have died from the virus.
The probe comes after a Bloomberg news report was published, shedding light on the company’s response. According to the report, Carnival knew about the threat of COVID-19 but did not take action fast enough to mitigate the harm. Instead, ships allowed guests to continue being together in close proximity, sharing swimming pools and dinner buffets. One House representative, Peter DeFazio from Oregon, wrote that Carnival, with its nine cruise lines and 109 ships, was “trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat.”
While the Congressional probe is underway, thousands of individuals and families remain affected by the outbreaks. What many people may not realize is that these individuals may be entitled to financial compensation from the cruise line. Cruise lines that invite guests onto their ship owe them a duty of care to keep the ship safe. If it turns out that Carnival or other cruise lines breached this duty—especially by failing to implement public health and safety measures once they knew about the severity of COVID-19—those who are injured as a result can file a civil negligence suit against them in court, seeking damages to cover their medical care, pain and suffering, and lost wages. These suits can be difficult, so potential plaintiffs in these suits are advised to seek counsel.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve become ill or gotten injured while on a Florida cruise ship, it may be the fault of the cruise line. If so, let the attorneys at Friedman Rodman & Frank help you hold them liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Our dedicated attorneys have extensive experience representing Florida injury victims against corporate cruise lines, and seek to level the playing field against their large legal teams. To learn more and speak with an attorney about your case, call us today at 877-448-8585. Or, fill out our online form.