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Princess Cruises’ response to COVID-19 Outbreak

The Grand Princess, one of oldest cruise ships in Princess’s fleet, has an experienced crew of 1,100, which on a typical voyage has 3,100 passengers. It is a floating city. On February 11, 2020, the Grand Princess set sail from San Francisco for a 10-day cruise to Mexico. The COVID-19 Pandemic was spreading throughout the United States with confirmed cases in the State of Washington. When the Grand Princess returned, to the Port of Oakland, there was a COVID-19 outbreak on the ship and 3 days after leaving the Grand Princess a passenger died from complications of COVID-19. Despite that knowledge over 4,200 passengers and crew continued to sail on board the Grand Princess, which only further spread the virus. Finally, on March 4, 2020, Princess Cruises posted advisories claiming that the Centers for Diseases Control are “investigating a small cluster of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases In Northern California connected to our previous Grand Princess voyage that sailed round trip San Francisco from February 11th to February 21st.” Princess Cruises report states that “those guests who sailed with us on our previous voyage and may have been exposed, CDC requires that you remain in your stateroom until you have been contacted and cleared by our medical staff.” In fact, 62 passengers, remained on board, who had sailed on the previous cruise where the passenger had died from symptoms of COVID-19.

In its own report from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Grant Tarling, Princess Cruises minimized the disease and stated that “it causes mild illness in about 80% of the cases” and is “mainly spread by hand touch surfaces.”

See this LINK for the scope of the reports as they unfolded since March 4, 2020.

By March 6, 2020, Princess Cruises confirmed that 21 people, 2 passengers and 19 crew members, have tested positive for COVID-19. It is likely that the 19 crew were on the previous voyage. On March 7, 2020, one critically ill passenger was evacuated by the Coast Guard. On March 8, 2020, the Coast Guard rescued an additional passenger. On March 9, 2020, the remaining passengers were disembarked from the vessel at Port of Oakland. From there, the passengers were transported to military bases and held in quarantine for two weeks. Since the incident began, three passengers have died. During the voyage, Princess Cruises notified its passengers that crew had been provided personal protective equipment. Eventually, passengers were quarantined to their cabins while crew members dropped meals off. At least 19 crew members were affected, it is unknown, but certainly more than possible that some of these crew members were serving food. Additionally, it is likely that many more crew members were similarly stricken with COVID-19 further spreading the virus to the passengers.

Holzberg Legal in its lawyers are currently investigating all claims and having ongoing discussions with passengers and crew about potential COVID-19 claims. We are in the process of filing suit against Princess Cruises and Costa. We are evaluating potential claims against all the major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, MSC, and Holland America. If you or a loved one traveled on any of these cruise ships and suffered from exposure or were quarantined as a result of COVID-19, we are here to help.

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