A Crowley widow filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines Tuesday claiming they knowingly exposed her and her husband to the coronavirus.
Susan and Michael Dorety boarded the Grand Princess in San Francisco on February 21 to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
The lawsuit claims that earlier that day, at least two passengers infected with COVID-19 disembarked while more than 60 they exposed remained on the ship.
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“They should’ve never let them on the ship. They should’ve warned them of the dangers. They should’ve tested them. And they shouldn’t have really taken that ship back out again,” said Dorety’s attorney Rusty Hardin.
The lawsuit goes on to say that four days later, Princess Cruises emailed passengers no longer on the ship to tell them they’d been exposed. They did not, however, warn new passengers including the Doretys.
In the lawsuit, a timeline shows the cruise ship didn’t quarantine passengers to their rooms for about two weeks.
Once there, Michael began showing symptoms. Susan called an emergency line multiple times, but they received no medical attention.
It took three days to get him off the ship where he was evaluated by the C.D.C. and taken to a California hospital.
He died there alone as his wife and children listened over the phone.
Though Princess Cruises doesn’t comment on pending litigation, it issued a statement:
“Princess Cruises 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 the well-being of our guests and crew within the parameters dictated to us by the government agencies involved and the evolving medical understanding of this new illness.”
Hardin said Dorety’s biggest concern now is keeping this from happening to anyone else.
“Obviously, a lot of things happen with the virus that no one is to blame for. This is a very different circumstance. This is people responsible for caring for others who knew of the risk, did not warn people of the risk, took their money for a cruise knowing as they did so that these people might very well be exposed to a lethal virus. They did it anyway. That’s what she wants to make sure doesn’t happen again,” said Hardin
According to the CDC, the Grand Princess and the cruise line’s Diamond Princess had more than 800 total COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began including 10 deaths.