Ronald and Eva Weissberger live in Broward County, Florida, but have been unable to disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship, now docked in Oakland, California. They have filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines, accusing the company of gross negligence in allowing them to be exposed to coronavirus on the ship. They are seeking more than $1 million in damages.
The federal court lawsuit accuses Princess Cruise Lines of sailing despite “knowing that the ship was infected from two previous passengers who came down with symptoms of COVID-19, and had sixty two passengers on board.”
The lawsuit alleges that Weissbergers boarded the ship on February 21 and, along with all other passengers in this sailing, were not examined or screened before they got on the vessel even though the ship had previously had two people on board with the virus. They were also not given warning by the cruise line of the potential of exposure before they boarded or while they were already aboard, according to the filing. The lawsuit alleges that no passengers aboard the Grand Princess were informed when an email went out to previous ship passengers on February 25 notifying them of a possible exposure on the ship.
The Weissbergers claim that they would not have boarded the ship if they had been told and would have disembarked in Honolulu on February 26 if they had been made aware of the risk. The lawsuit alleges the couple is now at “actual risk of immediate physical injury” and that they are “suffering from emotional distress” and are “traumatized from the fear of developing COVID-19.”
In response to the lawsuit, Princess Cruises issued a statement saying: “Princess has been sensitive to the difficulties the COVID-19 outbreak has caused to our guests and crew. Our response throughout this process has focused on well-being our guests and crew within the parameters mandated on us by the government agencies involved and the evolving medical understanding of this new illness. We (sic) not been served with any lawsuit relating to this matter, and we will not comment on any pending litigation.”