Passengers who sailed on a Carnival-owned Princess Cruises ship have filed the first class-action lawsuit against the cruise line and its parent company, alleging they were negligently exposed to theon one of its vessels.
The suit, representing more than 2,000 passengers on the Grand Princess sailing from San Francisco to Mexico in February, claims Carnival and Princess failed to protect passengers and contain the spread of the virus. At least 100 of the passengers contracted COVID-19, and two died after disembarking, according to the complaint.
"Carnival and Princess allowed potentially infected individuals on the Mexico cruise to share confined space with other passengers, casually and callously exposing all 2,500 passengers to serious illness from COVID-19," attorney Elizabeth Cabraser of law firm Lieff Cabraser, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
Carnival didn't warn passengers even after learning that at least one person was suffering from COVID-19 symptoms and didn't require any quarantining or social distancing, according to the suit.
Multiple passengers experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19 aboard the ship but were denied medical care, "exposing other passengers and crew members trapped on board the ship to the virus," Mary Alexander, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Carnival's Princess Cruises said in a statement the company does not comment on pending litigation.
"Princess Cruises has been sensitive to the difficulties the COVID-19 outbreak has caused to our guests and crew," the company statement said, adding, "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."
Carnival was alsothis week by 60 Grand Princess passengers alleging the company failed to take the proper precautions to keep people safe aboard the ship.
More than 700 people aboard another Princess ship, the Diamond Princess, contracted COVID while touring Asia. Fourteen passengers died.