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Lately, it is impossible to turn on the news without hearing yet another harrowing tale of a cruise ship passenger’s experience with coronavirus. In early 2020, cruise lines were equipped with information that, had they taken proper action, could have prevented thousands from becoming ill, and even saved lives. However, the lesser known story is that of the crewmembers aboard ships owned by popular cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival. Like passengers, crewmembers live in close quarters, eat in buffet-style common areas, and socialize together. So when the coronavirus began spreading on their ships, crewmembers had nowhere to go, and many contracted the disease. If you or a loved one has been exposed to coronavirus due to the negligence of a cruise ship learn what the coronavirus attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys can do for you.
Fox Business reports that Royal Caribbean employees have filed a class action lawsuit for negligent exposure to coronavirus and not taking the preventative steps to keep people protected from coronavirus. The lawsuit alleges the cruise line failed to follow basic safety precautions such as providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and enforcing social distancing guidelines. According to employees working on a Royal Caribbean owned Celebrity cruise ship, they were permitted to eat in buffets, attend crew parties, and were required to participate in drills despite multiple cases of coronavirus onboard. Crewmembers’ claims fall under the Jones Act, a federal law that allows ship employees to sue for personal injuries as a result of negligence on the part of their employer. According to Fox Business, the CDC reports there are currently 20 cruise ships in U.S. waters with known or suspected cases of the coronavirus. A number of crewmembers remain on these ships.
As the cruise industry faces mounting litigation for coronavirus-related injuries, cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival are experiencing significant financial loss. Fox Business reports that for every day since the CDC’s April 9, 2020 no-sail order, the cruise industry suffers an economic loss of approximately $92 million and a total of 620 jobs.
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