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First Coronavirus Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Princess Cruise Lines

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 19, 2020

After facing weeks of serious backlash and intense scrutiny due to their alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak, the cruise ship industry was dealt another blow this past Wednesday when the first wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation.

On April 15th, 2020, lawyers representing the surviving members of the Chen family submitted a wrongful death claim to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. According to the complaint, it alleges that 64-year-old Chung Chen, his wife, and his 21-year-old daughter were allowed to board the Ruby Princess back on March 8th in Sydney, Australia, even after crew members and passengers were showing symptoms of the coronavirus from one of the cruise ship’s previous trips. Due to this gross negligence, many people were unknowingly exposed to this deadly disease.

The lawsuit also states that once their cruise was over, the Chen family then returned to their home in Los Angeles, where it was only a matter of days before everyone fell ill. Chen’s daughter and wife have since made a full recovery, however, the patriarch of the family was not so lucky. He passed away in early April due to complications from COVID-19. “This tragic death could have been avoided if Princess Cruises chose safety over profits. As a result, the Chen family has been devastated by the death of their beloved husband and father,” said the family’s attorney in a statement to the press. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the decision to issue a “no sail order” to the entire cruise ship industry, approximately 650 passengers that were previously aboard the Ruby Princess tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Ruby Princess is one of many “princess-class” cruise ships operated by Princess Cruise Lines, which is owned by Carnival Corporation & plc.

If you or a loved one have been adversely affected by a COVID-19 outbreak aboard a cruise ship, please contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today at 877-FL-INJURY to schedule a free initial consultation.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 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.

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