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172 People Contract Norovirus on the Princess Cruises Flagship Crown Princess

172 People Contract Norovirus on the Princess Cruises Flagship Crown Princess

172 People Contract Norovirus on the Princess Cruises Flagship Crown Princess

For the second time in 2014, passengers and crew members on the cruise ship Crown Princess caught norovirus during a nearly one month long cruise.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 172 persons on the Crown Princess were sick during the cruise.  The ship docked in San Pedro, California on Sunday and was expected to be met by representatives of the CDC.

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Company spokeswoman Susan Lomax said the ship will undergo a deep cleaning at a terminal in San Pedro before embarking on its next voyage. Somehow I don’t find that too reassuring.

According to the CDC symptoms of norovirus include vomiting,diarrhea, fever and body aches.  The symptoms usually last three or four days.

The applicable law of personal injury lawsuits brought by maritime passengers generally is the Federal General Maritime Law and the applicable federal statutes that govern accidents occurring on navigable waters. A different law may apply if the accident occurs on navigable waters of a state or on a foreign flagged vessel under circumstances that would make the law of the flag of the vessel applicable.

Passengers hoping to be compensated for their suffering are pretty much at the mercy of Princess Cruises.  The first thing they should do is to download their 10 page ticket contract from the cruise line’s web site.  There on page 8, Paragraph 16 titled: NOTICE  OF CLAIMS AND ACTIONS; TIME LIMITATION; ARBITRATION; FORUM  they will discover, probably for the first time that no lawsuit for emotional or bodily injury, illness or death may be brought against Princess Cruises unless (1) written notice giving full particulars of the claim is delivered to the carrier within 6 months from the date of the injury, illness, or death and (2) a lawsuit is filed within 1 year from the date of the injury, illness or death.

Further, in 16(B) FORUM AND JURISDICTION FOR LEGAL ACTION they will learn that all claims shall be litigated only in the courts of the County of Los Angeles California and that “You (the passenger) consent to jurisdiction and waive any objection that may be available.”

Finally, paragraph 16(C) shouts in ALL CAPS that you have waived any right to a class action.

There are numerous other provisions in the ticket contract severely limiting your rights.  Unfortunately the Courts allow and uphold the fiction that cruise passengers have read and understand all of the provisions of the ten page.  It’s time for a Cruise Line Passenger’s Bill of Rights to level the playing field.

Gerald McGill has more than 30 years experience handling maritime claims and representing passengers for any illness or injury sustained on a cruise line ship. For more information contact Gerald at (850) 432-2025 or gmcgill@thejonesact.com.

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