Cruise

Ruby Princess passengers considering legal action after woman dies of COVID-19

Passengers from a Princess Cruises ship are seeking legal advice after more than a hundred people tested positive with COVID-19 after disembarkation.

One woman in her 70s who was on board the ship died of the virus in hospital on Tuesday.

Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney last week, disembarked 2,647 guests with four testing positive within a few days. The number of infected passengers has since risen to 133.

At least four cruise ships have been given “special permission” to dock in Australia since the federal government introduced a 30-day nationwide ban on ships that depart from an international port.

Sydney-based law firm Shine Lawyers confirmed it has received multiple enquiries from Ruby Princess passengers who are concerned about the lack of safety measures enacted on the ship.

Shine Lawyers national practice leader Lisa Flynn said the firm is investigating avenues to compensate “distressed and disappointed” passengers who contracted COVID-19 as a result of “alleged negligence”.

Flynn said the firm has heard evidence that there was not enough done by the ship to protect passengers on board.

“Given that the dangers of COVID-19 were well and truly known by the company at the time and still, not enough was done to ensure that people were tested, or quarantined, we believe there is a case for affected passengers,” Flynn said.

Early investigations by the firm have indicated both the ship and the government “failed passengers as well as the rest of the country”.

Passengers told the firm they were not monitored or advised of the risk to themselves and others and were free to disembark the ship and board other means of transport.

“The end result, which was possibly avoidable, was that a 70-year-old woman has tragically lost her life,” Flynn said.

“While we don’t know enough detail as to how and when she contracted the virus, we do know that the crew were across her diagnosis and we know that they failed to protect others from the spread by not alerting them to the risk of infection.”

Travel Weekly has contacted Princess Cruises for comment.

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