why you need a criminal lawyer at your side

Can You File A Personal Injury Lawsuit For Exposure To COVID-19 On A Cruise Ship?

A cruise is supposed to be a dream getaway. You get to spend your days relaxing in luxury, enjoying good food, and possibly visiting some of the most mind-blowingly beautiful places. However, if a virus breaks out on the ship, this dream getaway can quickly turn into a nightmare. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 led to exactly that for a lot of cruise passengers. Amid concerns of the virus spreading, some cruise ships were refused at ports and passengers were forced to quarantine themselves in their rooms onboard the ship. The question here is, would it be possible to sue for exposure to COVID-19 on a cruise ship?

A unique situation can bring about some unique legalities. 

Even though under normal circumstances an illness spread on a cruise ship could potentially lead to a personal injury claim, the C-19 virus was definitely a unique situation. As of March of 2020, a lot remains to be discovered about the virus, how it spreads, and how long people can stay contagious after contracting the illness. Therefore, building a case around a base claim about being infected on a cruise could be difficult. It can be expected that some rights to legal action may be waived or changed due to the uniqueness of the situation. 

Whether a cruise owner can be held liable relies on a few factors. 

Even though the COVID-19 forced quarantine of many cruise ships cannot be blamed on the owner of the cruise lines, there can be some questionable liabilities to discuss with a personal injury lawyer. There could potentially be a lawsuit if: 

  • The cruise line did not do enough to protect passengers from the spread of the virus
  • Known infected passengers were not properly quarantined from everyone else 
  • The staff was not doing their part to keep contact surfaces clean and sanitary 

If any of these three things occurred, there may be some liability concerns up for question. However, if the cruise ship followed all recommended protocols to keep everyone on board safe, it is not likely there would be a reason to file a claim. For example, if the staff members quarantined everyone in their cabins strictly, followed proper cleaning measures, and did everything they were told to do, there may not be a case to file. Even if you did still catch COVID-19 on your cruise, liability will not be present to build the claim. 

To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer