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Our attorneys and staff continue to work through COVID-19 and remain available 24/7, ready to fight for you. Our video conferencing, case management, and telecommunications systems allow us to stay in constant contact with our clients and pursue their claims without interruption – all without our clients leaving the comfort of their homes. You focus on staying healthy and safe, we’re here to handle the rest.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cruise Ship Exposure

Were you exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) while on a cruise ship? Call our experienced injury attorneys to have your questions answered – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an extremely contagious disease that has infected hundreds of thousands individuals across the world, resulting in nearly 10,000 deaths. Among the first to be exposed to this deadly illness were cruise ship passengers.

In the early weeks of this pandemic, concerns were raised if cruise lines were doing enough to protect their passengers from the outbreak. Questions of how quarantine was being conducted, how passengers were being tested and treated, and whether and when it was appropriate to allow passengers to exit the ships were the topics of numerous news reports. Many of these questions remain unanswered.

As the virus has spread, infected persons are left with new questions. Particularly, who is responsible for my illness and can I seek compensation for the physical and financial damages I have incurred?

Can I Sue a Cruise Line for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection and Injuries?

There are several factors to consider when it comes to the viability of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) lawsuit – and because of the unique circumstances surrounding the pandemic, each potential claim would have to be reviewed on a case-by-case scenario. However, we can examine what a coronavirus-related lawsuit might look like and how compensation may work.

Typically, a personal injury claim is based off the cause of action known as negligence. In order to claim negligence, a case must meet four basic requirements:

  1. A duty was owed by the defendant to the plaintiff
  2. A breach of that duty
  3. Causation by the defendant
  4. Damages to the plaintiff

When a passenger boards a cruise ship, its owners and operators owe that passenger a duty of care. This means that the owners, operators, and their staff must act reasonably and take reasonable precautions to prevent injury or harm to the passengers aboard.

For a tort claim to be viable, the plaintiff would have to demonstrate that cruise lines failed to take every reasonable measure to contain the virus and protect their passengers from infection. This is something that we cannot yet answer, but examples of potential failures would include:

  • Failure to screen sick passengers
  • Allowing passengers and crew who were known to have Coronavirus (COVID-19) to board the ship
  • Failure to clean and sanitize the ship after sick passengers left
  • Allowing healthy passengers to interact with potentially sick passengers and crew
  • Failure to warn passengers of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases
  • Failure to obey national or international calls to quarantine passengers
  • Failure to obey national or international calls to cancel cruises

If something like the above did occur and it is found that a cruise line was negligent in its handling of a COVID-19 outbreak, then there would be grounds for a personal injury claim through which an infected passenger could potentially secure compensation.

What Damages Could a Cruise Ship Be Liable For?

Again, because of the unique circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, potential damages would have to be determined on a case-by-case scenario. We do have one example in which a couple is suing Princess cruises for $1 million in damages related to the emotional distress and trauma they suffered from the fear of developing the illness. Both plaintiff’s note that they are elderly with underlying medical conditions, putting them at an increase risk of serious illness or death should Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection occur.

Other damages that could potentially be sought by plaintiff’s are:

  • Medical expenses – Damages almost always include the cost of medical care associated with an accident or injury. Damages can include reimbursement for treatment you have already received as well as compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you will need in the future as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
  • Lost wages – You may be entitled to compensation for the impact an quarantine and recovery has had on your salary or wages. This includes wages lost due to time spent in the hospital, rehabilitation, or the loss of a job due to long-term disabilities caused by the infection.
  • Loss of earning capacity – Similar to lost wages, loss of earning capacity seeks to recover income that has been lost due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection; however, whereas lost wages is focused on salary or wages that has already been lost, loss of earning capacity seeks damages based on future income.
  • Pain and suffering – If your Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection resulted in pain or serious discomfort, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. This can include pain experienced while ill, pain experienced during treatment and recovery, and any ongoing pain that can be attributed long-term damage associated with the infection.
  • Loss of enjoyment – These damages attempt to quantify loss of enjoyment in day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise, and other recreational activities.
  • Emotional distress – Not all injuries are physical. If your Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection or the possibility of infection had a psychological impact and has resulted in things like anxiety, depression, or sleep loss, you may be entitled to emotional distress damages.
  • Loss of consortium – Typically applied to wrongful death lawsuits, loss of consortium damages can also be sought when a severe injury has resulted in a loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship with a spouse. Children may also sue for loss of consortium if the injuries have significantly hampered the victim’s ability to provide care, nurturing, or comfort.
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866-517-5659 • info@tjhlaw.com

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