The first wrongful death lawsuits related to COVID-19 have been filed against Princess Cruises and its parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines. According to media sources, the lawsuits allege that Princess Cruises mismanaged coronavirus outbreaks onboard their ships.
Several Princess Cruises ships suffered outbreaks as early as February 2020, before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a No Sail Order. It is alleged that Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines knew that outbreaks were occurring but continued to sail with full passengers and crew. The result was hundreds of illnesses and thousands of people being stuck onboard cruise ships for lengthy periods.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed in California
Families of passengers and crew onboard Princess Cruise ships have started filing wrongful death lawsuits against major cruise lines.
Ruby Princess Lawsuit
In April, the family of Chang Chen filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. This lawsuit claims that the cruise line allowed the family to board the Ruby Princess, knowing that the ship was not properly sanitized after a previous coronavirus outbreak.
All three members of the Chen family contracted coronavirus, and Chang Chen died in April after flying home. The Chen family alleges that they have suffered enormously due to the illness, pain, and suffering, and financial costs related to Chang’s death.
Grand Princess Lawsuit
The son of a man who died after testing positive for coronavirus has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles. The lawsuit claims that Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines were negligent in their handling of coronavirus. Carl Weidner and his girlfriend were cruising to Hawaii onboard the Grand Princess when the ship came back to port early due to coronavirus. While at Travis Air Base, Weidner tested positive for coronavirus. Within days, he had died. The lawsuit filed by his son claims that Princess Cruises did not take proper safety measures, did not properly clean their ships, and did not correctly inform passengers of a risk.
Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines have declined to comment on the cases.