top of page

Covid & 'fear' cases against cruise liners

Can cruise ship passengers bring a ‘fear’ case for emotional distress against the owners even though they did not manifest any symptoms or test positive for Covid-19? A few tried their luck in US against owners of The Grand Princess which had an outbreak in early March.

The vessel departed from San Francisco with 2400+ passengers and a few days later 21 people tested positive for Covid. Passengers had to be quarantined onboard. Infact on the previous voyage, 2 passengers had tested +ve and inspite of that the ship continued with its itinerary. The screening protocols were also allegedly improper as on-boarders were not examined.

As per the court passengers could claim for emotional injury only if it was stemming from some physical harm or immediate risk of physical harm. A near miss with Covid would fall under the latter category. The court noted that recovery for emotional distress is generally restrictive and more so in cases related to Covid else there would be a flood of trivial claims and owners would face a threat of unpredictable liability. It said that although cruise ship goers are a captive audience, risk of exposure to the virus on a ship is no different than in pubs, churches & other establishments. This and 12 other similar cases were thus dismissed.

2 views0 comments


Recent posts

bottom of page