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Celebrity Cruises Sued By Crew Members Over Coronavirus Exposure

April 15, 2020, 5:34 PM

Celebrity Cruises Inc. was hit with a proposed class action in the Southern District of Florida alleging it has exposed thousands of crew members to the coronavirus.

Although several suits have been filed against cruise lines by passengers over coronavirus exposure, the suit is one of the first brought by crew members.

The cruise line failed to follow basic safety precautions despite knowing that Covid-19 was likely present aboard the vessels, the complaint alleges.

Rather than quarantining crew members, providing them masks or requiring them to observe social distancing measures, Celebrity allowed them to eat in buffet settings, mandated their participation in shipboard drills, and permitted them to attend crew parties, according to the complaint.

Celebrity’s failure to protect its employees has “resulted in hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases and what is more likely thousands given that there is limited testing being done on its vessels,” the complaint alleges.

The proposed class consists of crew members who contracted the virus or were at a heightened risk of exposure while working aboard the ships as a result of Celebrity’s “careless conduct.”

Cause of Action: Negligence under the Jones Act, failure to provide maintenance and cure, failure to provide prompt, proper and adequate medical care.

Relief: Damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Class Size: The plaintiffs estimate that there are more than 10,000 class members.

Response: Celebrity didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

Attorneys: Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina, Winkleman PA represents the plaintiffs.

The case is Nedeltcheva v. Celebrity Cruises Inc., S.D. Fla., No. 20-cv-21569, 4/14/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at PHayes@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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