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Cruise Ships and COVID-19

At the end of March, the world watched in horror as the new Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) swept through a Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off of the coast of Japan. After many days of various quarantine measures, the ship was finally fully emptied and the various people aboard returned to their countries of origin. To date, of the nearly two-thousand individuals aboard the ship, 712 wound up contracting COVID-19. Reports have since emerged on this cruise illustrating to what degree the officials with the Carnival Corporation failed to properly handle the situation, to the point where passengers and crew were still participating in large group meals and other activities even after the quarantine was put in place.

While this particular Diamond Princess voyage is unique in terms of its large-scale infection, it more than succinctly illustrates the issues that arise on cruise ships during this time of international crisis. Anyone who boarded a cruise from February through the current moment placed themselves - likely unknowingly - in a direct line of danger. It becomes apparent every day that the corporations in charge of these vessels, although aware of the incredible danger posed by COVID-19, chose to place profits over people. As a result of this decision, thousands are now at risk of becoming ill, perhaps fatally so.

Because cruises are such a popular activity for a wide range of the population, the possibility for the spread of COVID-19 aboard a ship becomes an intergenerational event. While young people are less likely to become seriously ill as a result of contracting the virus, they are extremely helpful carriers, potentially bringing the virus to the elderly or those with weaker or compromised immune systems. Aboard a cruise ship, where so many participate in a somewhat limited number of activities, this means that the spread of something like COVID-19 happens with a shocking rapidity.

Because of this, cruise ship operators are poised at a crucial point when it comes to preventing the spread of this highly contagious and dangerous illness. Unfortunately, as various reports have made clear, these operators care far more for their financial bottom line than the health of a species, going so far as to pressure nations located in the Caribbean to allow passengers to disembark even when flu-like symptoms were present among the ship's guests.

What does such a blatant disregard for the citizens of other countries suggest about the nature of the cruise industry? And why should it inspire us to trust them to keep the guests aboard their vessels safe?

If you or a loved one has recently become ill with COVID-19 after travel aboard a cruise ship, there is a high possibility that the illness is the result of improper protocol implemented by a corporation that owns and operates the cruise line in question. The financial burden that awaits those suffering from the coronavirus can be devastating, but if the contraction of the illness stems from someone else’s irresponsibility then the weight should not be yours to bear.

James O. Cunningham and his team of legal professionals have long offered aggressive legal representation for individuals and families affected by misconduct on the part of cruise ship companies. While it is true that the coronavirus crisis represents a unique chapter for humanity, the responsibility that cruise companies have towards their guests and workers remains the same. In this time of uncertainty, we are here to fight for those adversely touched by the presence of COVID-19 aboard cruise ships. To schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY (407- 425-2000).

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