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Carnival sued by cruise passengers alleging negligence over COVID-19

Report: Carnival let ships sail despite coronavirus

Carnival Cruise Line was sued in Los Angeles federal court Tuesday by more than 60 passengers on the Grand Princess vessel who allege the company failed to adequately protect them from the coronavirus. The lawsuit claims the cruise line didn't sanitize the ship between voyages and didn't screen new or existing passengers when they embarked.

The complaint isn't the first filed against Carnival, whose Diamond Princess ship was an early harbinger of the disease's ability to spread when it suffered an outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year and was quarantined near Japan in February. In one earlier suit, a Texas couple boarded a Carnival-owned Princess ship in February and contracted the disease, with the husband later dying from complications.

The latest lawsuit alleges Carnival failed to take proper precautions to keep people aboard the Grand Princess safe, including neglecting to inform new passengers that previous passengers had contracted COVID-19 onboard. The litigation includes two passengers who were infected while on the ship, which it alleges was due to lack of proper care from the cruise line.

"Princess put profits before people, plain and simple," said co-counsel Mary Alexander of Mary Alexander & Associates in a statement. "At every turn, these cruise lines misinformed, misled, mistreated or put passengers in harm's way."

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The suit claims Carnival in February warned passengers who had disembarked from one sailing that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, but alleges that it failed to inform people aboard the ship at the time.

Said Carnival in a statement emailed to CBS MoneyWatch: "Princess Cruises has been sensitive to the difficulties the COVID-19 outbreak has caused to our guests and crew. 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 involved and the evolving medical understanding of this new illness."

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