Dozens of articles are circulating the internet about popular cruise lines continuing to operate despite warnings about the coronavirus.

Carnival Cruise Line in Hot Water

One particular cruise line, Carnival Cruise, is being slammed by the media about allegations that the captain and crew were aware of a COVID-19 positive passenger, yet, they continued to schedule regular events and did not notify passengers to self-quarantine in their rooms until four days later. Since the pandemic began, more than 1,500 people on Carnival cruise ships have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and quite a few have died.

Other cruise lines have continued to set sail without changing operations in any way despite the CDC and government warnings about the coronavirus.

Even as late as April 16th, when a Bloomberg expose’ hit the newsstands, Carnival Cruise Lines still had two ships with passengers out to sea.

Are They Liable?

The tricky question is, are these cruise ship companies liable? One Carnival Cruise line executive said, “It wasn’t like there were protocols, and that this was established. You’re at sea, you’re moving people around, and the rules are changing as you go.” Even faced with multiple lawsuits, Carnival Cruise spokesmen claim they are proud of how they handled the situation and how well they took care of the passengers. Carnival Cruises’ President and CEO, Arnold Donald, is taking a defensive stance claiming that the ships couldn’t just dock when the pandemic was announced because ports were closed.

In an effort to sidestep the blame, Donald also mentioned that cruise ships did not have to heed the CDC’s advice; it was merely a suggestion, “not an edict.” A Carnival Cruise sister company executive stressed that “We are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves,” as a response to the legal issues stemming from cruises continuing to party on while the infected numbers grew. The unprecedented nature of this situation complicates liability tremendously.

If you took a cruise during the past couple of months and were affected by COVID-19 as a result, contact us today (305) 670-0101 or info@bhfloridalaw.com to explore your options for recuperation.