Cruise bosses ‘hid coronavirus figures and blocked news to fool passengers into thinking they were safe’, lawsuit says – The Sun
A CRUISE line concealed a devastating coronavirus outbreak and even "blocked out" TV news channels to convince passengers they were safe, a lawsuit alleges.
The Costa Luminosa "subjected" more than 2,000 passengers to the virus, according to a lawsuit brought by a passenger.
A total of 36 people contracted the virus and seven people died.
The complaint alleges that the Cost Luminosa set sail even though there had already been outbreaks on two Princess Cruises vessels.
Both vessels are owned by Carnival, Costa's parent company.
Costa Cruise Lines is named in the lawsuit.
"This voyage set sail knowing it was a virtual certainty that there would be an outbreak, similar, if not identical, to those which two Princess ships had already very publicly faced," the lawsuit states.
"This callous disregard for the safety and well-being of its passengers must be answered for."
The passenger alleges that the cruise operator refused to offer refunds to travelers who wanted to cancel in wake of coronavirus fears.
"Costa’s negligent misconduct was predicated on a profit motive because, simply put, cruise lines like Costa make no money when passengers don’t sail," the lawsuit states.
Passengers were also misled about the "medical services" aboard ship, which was available for less than six hours every day, according to the lawsuit.
"Plaintiff and others similarly situated reasonably feared the vessel would not be able to handle medical issues as they arose, and certainly not able to handle the outbreak of the coronavirus onboard," read the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by Paul Turner on behalf of the other 2,000 passengers.
Turner said he had trouble getting information when he pressed staff.
"I had a million questions but these two Italian guys were like pit bulls," he told The Daily Mail.
'They didn't provide any information whatsoever, they just they kept asking ''who told you' and 'how did you hear.'
"In the last six years I've been on a lot of cruises but I've never been spoken to like that.
"A lady that worked in guest relations said the news was overblowing coronavirus."
The Costa Luminosa had set sail from Florida on March 5.
Three days later, with the shop docked in Puerto Rico, an elderly couple from Italy was rushed to a hospital due to coronavirus symptoms, according to the lawsuit
More passengers would become ill, and the ship was denied entry to several ports.
The Costa Luminosa unloaded three passengers with coronavirus symptoms in the Canary Islands on March 15, but other passengers were not allowed off, according to the lawsuit.
"This was the first day the crewmembers of the Costa Luminosa began wearing napkins over their mouths and using napkins to grab plates to deliver food into passenger’s staterooms," the lawsuit states.
"Again, Costa did not inform and/or warn passengers that passengers on board the same voyage tested positive for the coronavirus."
The ship was eventually allowed permission to dock in Marseille, France, under strict quarantine conditions.
Some of the passengers were put on a chaotic flight home after enduring the cruise nightmare.
The jet carrying 359 people landed in Atlanta as emergency responders and health and customs officials deployed to screen them for the coronavirus.
“It was a suicide mission,” passenger Jenny Harrell said of the flight during an interview last month.
“It was a mass triage with absolutely no direction and the crew going, ‘What should we do now?’”
Harrell said many of the passengers were visibly sick when they boarded the jet.
“They just wanted us to get home so we could be taken care of here,” she said.
"Everybody, basically, on that flight had medical conditions."
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