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Costa Cruise Line Coronavirus Lawsuits

When Coronavirus first began to break out of the boundaries of mainland China and cause disruption in the world at large, some of the first locations to become hotspots for the highly contagious disease were not in large metropolitan areas. Although cities such as New York, Rome, and Madrid would eventually become terrifying epicenters for the spread of COVID-19, they were initially outmatched by a less likely location, one that travels through international waters, its maritime drift occasionally punctuated by short-term stays in various ports.

As you can probably guess, we are referring to cruise ships, those floating islands of pleasure that call no nation home but are instead property of massive corporations such as Disney, Royal Caribbean, and the Carnival-owned company Costa. While the response of these corporations to the outbreak of COVID-19 was abysmal across the board, Costa in particular is under fire for its incredibly mismanaged handling of an outbreak aboard several of its ships.

Throughout the end of February and the month of March, cruise lines, although aware of the growing threat of COVID-19, continued to sell tickets and sail ships. In fact, when the companies saw the numbers of tickets dropping due to consumer concerns, their response was to lower prices and make cancellations easier, effectively pushing more and more people to buy tickets and set sail even though their lives and the health of the world were increasingly at stake. One of these vessels was the Costa Luminosa.

On March 5th, well after the highly-publicized outbreak aboard a ship off the coast of Japan, the Costa Luminosa set sail from Fort Lauderdale on a trip scheduled to cross the Atlantic over the course of 20 days. It was revealed that this cruise ship departed from Fort Lauderdale even though a passenger who had been aboard the ship only days before had experienced coronavirus symptoms.

One of the first stops along this ship’s route was Puerto Rico. While anchored off of the island, an elderly couple were both evacuated from the ship because of COVID-19 symptoms. None of the other passengers aboard were notified. It was during this time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a comprehensive travel warning strongly advising people to refrain from all unnecessary travel, especially aboard cruise ships. This travel advisory was not relayed to any of the passengers aboard the Costa Luminosa which instead continued to embark on its trans-Atlantic voyage.

By the time it reached Europe, the Costa Luminosa began to struggle to find a place to dock. Numerous ports simply refused to allow the ship to enter their waters due to pandemic. When it finally managed to find a port in the French city of Marseille, Canadian and U.S. passengers boarded a specially chartered flight and returned to their countries of origin. Out of this group, over three dozen have reported contracting the virus.

This specific story is only one of the many examples of the alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak by Costa Cruises. If you or someone you love was aboard a Costa cruise ship and is now suffering as a result, the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. is here to help. For additional information, contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY for our completely free and confidential consultation.

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