LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The son of a 74-year-old man who died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus after traveling on a cruise to Hawaii filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines Monday.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, claimed that Carl E. Weidner, a retired steel worker from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, was "forced to die alone" due to the negligence of the staff of the Grand Princess cruise ship and its owners.
According to the complaint, Weidner had taken his girlfriend on the Hawaiian cruise that headed to port early in San Francisco on March 5 due to the outbreak. The couple was subsequently put into quarantine at Travis Air Base, where Weidner tested positive for COVID-19, according to the complaint.
The suit stated that, within a few days, Weidner was placed on a ventilator, then into a medically-induced coma before dying March 26 without his girlfriend or children present.
"What makes Carl's death even more tragic is that this was entirely preventable because Princess failed at every turn to inform passengers, properly clean its boat or take proper safety precautions," attorney Mary Alexander said. "Carl was able to win his fight against cancer, but he was taken down by Princess Cruise Line's extreme negligence and dishonesty."
Weidner's girlfriend said that little was done by the Princess staff to ensure passenger safety, alleging that the buffet line did not offer ample sanitizer for patrons and the salt and pepper shakers were handled by numerous people.
Princess Cruises is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp. A Carnival representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Santa Clarita-based Princess previously said in response to a similar lawsuit involving the Grand Princess that it does not comment on pending litigation.
On April 14, Princess announced it was canceling all voyages through June 30.
Carnival Cruises announced a plan Monday to resume North American service this summer, beginning Aug. 1 with a total of eight ships from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston. In connection with the plan, a pause in operations would be extended in all other North American and Australian markets through Aug. 31, the company said.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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