The coronavirus pandemic had a huge effect on cruises and ships at the beginning of the spread. Many passengers found themselves on ships that had to shut down and quarantine passengers, and many may have gotten sick or even died because of exposure to coronavirus on a cruise ship. Some of these passengers now wonder what they can do about what happened to them and whether they can sue a cruise line if they knew that someone aboard the ship had coronavirus. At the time of this writing, Carnival Cruise Line is specifically being investigated by Congress and being questioned for the high number of coronavirus cases that came from its ships, and our attorneys are prepared to handle cases on behalf of injured victims. The cruise ship coronavirus lawsuit attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. explain whether you might be able to sue Carnival Cruise Lines if they knew they had passengers with coronavirus.
Suing Carnival Cruises for COVID-19 Cases
In order to sue a cruise line for coronavirus deaths or injuries, you will need to be able to prove that they did something wrong. Our cruise ship accident lawyers have represented victims of cruise ship accidents for decades, and we have experience finding ways to hold cruise ship companies responsible for injuries and illness aboard a vessel.
For a coronavirus case, proving that the cruise line did something wrong will often mean proving that they had knowledge of the risks, but ignored them anyway. With coronavirus, it was not always clear at the beginning of the pandemic that the virus was as dangerous as we now know it do be. The initial outbreaks surprised many passengers and cruise ship operators alike. However, once cruise lines saw how quickly this virus could spread and knew that it could be dangerous for passengers, failing to take steps to stop the spread could be considered negligent.
If your lawyer can link your coronavirus case to something that the cruise ship did wrong or reasonable steps that they failed to take, you can usually sue the cruise line for what happened to you. You could, alternatively, sue for a loved one who died from coronavirus after exposure on a cruise ship.
If Carnival Cruise Line Knew About a Coronavirus Case, Are They Responsible?
When illness breaks out on a cruise ship, the operators of the ship are often in an odd position: telling other passengers could help protect them from getting sick themselves, but it could also cause panic. However, once there are a significant number of cases aboard a ship, it becomes essential that the captain warns the other passengers and institutes proper quarantine procedures to help keep everyone else safe from exposure. If the cruise line knew about cases on board and failed to take proper steps to prevent the spread, the cruise line could be liable for any additional cases that resulted on board.
Cruise lines should also take reasonable steps to prevent sick passengers from getting on board in the first place. If Carnival Cruise Lines properly screened its passengers by taking their temperature, asking questions about COVID-19 exposure, and investigating symptoms like excessive coughing, they should have been able to keep some sick passengers from boarding the cruise ship in the first place. However, it is unclear whether Carnival Cruises did take these proper steps in each case, and we would need to investigate your case to determine what went wrong.
Regardless, if a coronavirus case was caught while screening passengers, it would likely be negligent to then allow that passenger on board. Letting someone with a known COVID-19 case aboard a ship greatly increases the risk to the other passengers and would be unsafe.
Proving a Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruises for Coronavirus/COVID-19 Exposure
If you file a lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines or another cruise line, there are many arguments you could make. One common argument will be to show that the cruise line failed to properly respond after knowing about a case on board. Alternatively, you might argue that they should have known about a case on board but failed to act properly to find out about it.
To prove that they actually knew about the case, you would need some kind of information from the company. During the coronavirus outbreak, information has come out that some cruise lines knew more than they made clear to the public. If there were to be emails or other communications from within Carnival Cruise Lines that would indicate they knew the dangers of coronavirus or knew about a case aboard a certain ship, then you might be able to use that information against them. Our attorneys can often seize internal communications, such as emails, as part of a lawsuit’s “discovery” phase, where we can subpoena evidence and depositions.
At some point, the cruise ship will have found out about cases on board – and there will be evidence of when a statement was issued by the cruise line or when quarantines were instituted on board. If the cruise line failed to act properly or failed to notify passengers quickly enough, it could constitute negligence.
If you cannot prove that they actually knew about a case on board, you might have to instead prove that they should have known about the case. This can be difficult because even with proper screening procedures, some coronavirus cases are undetectable. If the cruise line cannot get coronavirus testing, they might not be able to confirm whether someone has COVID-19. This is complicated by the fact that a certain percentage of people with COVID-19 might be able to spread the disease without any symptoms at all, or they might have only mild symptoms. Even in light of this, failing to take reasonable steps to screen passengers could still be evidence that the cruise ship acted negligently.
If You Were Exposed to Coronavirus on a Carnival Cruise, Call Our Cruise Ship Coronavirus Lawyers
Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind’s cruise ship injury and illness lawyers for Carnival Cruise employees stuck during coronavirus represent victims of coronavirus aboard cruise ships. If you or a loved caught COVID-19 on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship after the ship operators already knew about a case on board or failed to properly screen passengers, you might be entitled to sue for your illness or for the loss of a loved one. Call our attorneys today to set up a free legal consultation and learn more about suing Carnival Cruise Lines for coronavirus negligence or injuries. We also can represent you if you were injured in an excursion on Carnival Cruise.