This week a Royal Caribbean cruise ship was forced to turn around and return to port early after over 600 passengers on board became sick with what is likely a norovirus outbreak. The ship, which was on its way to the US Virgin Islands, had 3,050 passengers and 1,165 crew members on board.
According to the CDC, norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S., resulting in about 21 million illnesses, between 56,000 and 71,000 hospitalizations and as many as 800 deaths. Norovirus is spread by touch, by infected people and contaminated food and water – all of which make cruise ships particularly susceptible to outbreaks. Symptoms of this highly contagious germ include vomiting and diarrhea.
To make matters worse, there are reports of a new type of norovirus, known as the GII 4 Sydney strain. Although it is not clear whether the Royal Caribbean incident involves this ‘super bug’, it was responsible for a January 2013 outbreak on the Queen Mary 2 that infected over 200 onboard.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a norovirus outbreak while on a cruise, you should seek immediate medical attention. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required. As a result of this medical care and/or hospitalization, you could find yourself with numerous, expensive medical bills to pay. However, before you become stressed by the debt, rest assured, you do have options.
According to the law, if the cruise ship is responsible for the norovirus outbreak, then you may have the right to seek compensation not only for these medical expenses, but also for all other damages that you may have suffered as a result of your illness. When determining whether or not the cruise ship is at fault, the key will be whether the operators took specific steps to stop the virus’ spread and, during the outbreak, whether they provided the necessary care for those infected. Failure to do so can be a form of negligence, in which they may be held responsible for.
To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, contact an experienced cruise ship accident attorney. Since 1977, James Cunningham has been helping cruise ship accident victims receive justice and fair compensation. Contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
Connect with James O. Cunningham on Google+