LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed today in Los Angeles, alleging that Princess and Carnival cruise lines knowingly allowed COVID-19 to spread among passengers.
More than 60 people who were passengers aboard the Grand Princess during its Feb. 21 voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii have joined the suit so far. The attorneys for these former passengers allege gross negligence in the handling of passenger health and safety.
According to the complaint, the Santa-Clarita-based Princess and its Miami-based parent company, Carnival, did not take proper cleaning or sanitizing precautions between voyages and did not properly screen passengers on the Hawaii-bound cruise.
The cruise lines are also being accused of failing to notify passengers of potential dangers of boarding the ship. The plaintiffs say the defendants were aware that passengers on the prior tup reported COVID-19 symptoms, but new passengers were not told.
“Princess put profits before people, plain and simple,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Mary Alexander alleged. “At every turn, these cruise lines misinformed, misled, mistreated or put passengers in harm’s way.”
The cruise line said it will not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit identifies two former passengers who say they contracted coronavirus because of the cruise line’s lack of care.
Nancy Alvis, of Klamath County, Oregon, became infected while aboard the Grand Princess and when she sought medical help, staff gave her ibuprofen and sent her back to her cabin, the suit says.
Pamela Giusti, of San Mateo County, also became infected while on board the ship, diagnosed with COVID-19 and treated in an intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanent Medical Center, according to the complaint.
“This appalling response by Carnival and Princess is defined by a callous disregard for passenger well-being,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Elizabeth Cabraser. “They were more interested in packing in new passengers in order to continue operations than they were in thinking about the safety of those passengers.”
The complaint also states that on Feb. 25, when the Grand Princess was sailing to Hawaii, both cruise lines sent emails to passengers who has already disembarked from a San Francisco-to-Mexico trip four days earlier, telling them that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. No notice was provided to passengers who were on the Grand Princess at the time, according to the plaintiffs.
Those passengers were not told about the COVID-19 infected passengers on the previous trip until March 4, the lawsuit states.
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