Sydney, Australia, Jul 24 (efe-epa).- Lawyers for passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which docked in the Australian city of Sydney on March 19 and has been linked to more than 20 COVID-19 deaths and some 700 cases, filed a class action lawsuit against the vessel’s operators Friday.
Australian authorities are also investigating the Ruby Princess, considered one of the main outbreaks of the epidemic in the country, for alleged violation of security regulations by allowing the disembarkation of some 2,700 passengers, despite the fact that some of them had symptoms such as those of the virus.
Shine Lawyers, which filed the suit in the Federal Court of Australia, claimed that the cruise ship operators, Carnival Plc and Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, broke consumer laws by breaching guarantees and by “engaging in conduct that was misleading and deceptive.”
It also accuses them of negligence and of failing in duty of care to provide passengers with a safe journey.
“We say the owner and operator knew of the risks that passengers may contract coronavirus before the ship left and they failed to take steps to ensure their passengers were safe and protected,” Class Actions Practice Leader Vicky Antzoulatos said in a statement.
“People on board the ship trusted Carnival to do the right thing but they were not told about the risk of coronavirus and some paid the ultimate price for it,” she said.
“More than 20 people have died, many remain gravely ill, while others struggle daily with the grief of having lost a loved one or having to care for a very sick relative.”
In the United States, the family of Chung Chen, who died of COVID-19 after traveling on the Ruby Princess, is also suing the operators, alleging negligence.
With more than 13,600 confirmed cases and 139 deaths, Australia has largely managed to control the epidemic, although new outbreaks emerged in Melbourne in late June and the authorities imposed a new lockdown in this city. EFE-EPA