As reported by the Financial Times (subscription), Plaintiffs representing over 100 passenger victims in the Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines COVID-19 Class Action lawsuit recently submitted emails to a California court revealing that Carnival CEO Arnold Donald knew of the Coronavirus risk and was personally involved in the decisions to keep cruises operating. The emails show that Donald discussed the danger of Covid with company execs at the start of 2020 yet allowed ships to continue sailing for another month.
“Our core allegation is that, at that point, the cruise industry knew very well that it was putting its passengers in grave danger by sailing at all . . . This was all avoidable, all they had to do was say I’m sorry, the cruise is cancelled,” said Lieff Cabraser partner Mark Chalos, who represents passengers on three Carnival cruises.
The Times notes, the outbreak on the Grand Princess has been linked to more than 120 cases of COVID -19 and 7 deaths, while an overall 2,409 Covid-19 cases and 80 deaths have been reported in connection with all Carnival’s cruises.
In the April 2020 complaint, the passengers alleged that Princess and Carnival allowed more than 2,400 passengers to board the Grand Princess vessel in February 2020 while failing to disclose that passengers from the previous voyage were known to have displayed COVID-19 symptoms. Ship staff did not do any medical screenings or even disinfect the ship before new passengers arrived. Passengers who claimed to have contracted the coronavirus said they had tested positive shortly after disembarking form the Grand Princess in early March of 2020, or that they at least met the criteria for a “probable case” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while still on board or after exiting the vessel, according to court documents.
“Carnival had decades of experience with airborne pathogens on its ships,” noted Chalos. “They know that cruise ships are uniquely susceptible to the spread of airborne pathogens. It’s a lot of people in an enclosed small space.”
Learn more about the Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines COVID-19 Virus Outbreak Negligence Lawsuit.