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Southern California Couple Who Contracted Coronavirus Sues Princess Cruises

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Princess Cruises has been named in a lawsuit after being accused of not informing passengers when the coronavirus outbreak began.

A Tarzana couple -- who both got infected during a 15-day cruise through Asia aboard the Diamond Princess -- is suing the cruise line.

They claim that along with not knowing about the outbreak at an appropriate time, the company also didn't assist them enough in obtaining medical care after they became ill.

"I thought I was going to die on this ship," said Farah Toutounchian.

Her husband Mohammad got sick on February 10 and she got sick three days later.

She says he was already in a hospital when she fell ill but the medical staff wanted to initially take her to a different hospital.

"I wanted to die next to my husband. I begged them," Toutounchian said.

According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 crew and passengers aboard the Diamond Princess tested positive for COVID-19. About half did not show symptoms.

The couple says there were positive cases on their ship days before a lockdown of rooms went into effect and that they were encouraged by crew members to go out and mingle at several ports.

"Very little was done as far as I can tell in terms of precautions taken or any measures taken," said their attorney James Urbanic.

The Toutounchians said they're still feeling the effects of their illness, with some or most of their smelling, taste and hearing still gone.

They still need care post coronavirus but they're not able to do that during Stay-At-Home orders.

It's unclear how much they are seeking in damages.

Princess Cruises sent a statement that read in part:

"Our response throughout this process has focused on the well-being of our guests and crew within the parameters dictated to us by the government agencies."

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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