Exclusive: Zaandam cruise passengers' suit calls on Holland America, Carnival Corp. to reform
A study analyzed the coronavirus outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Video Elephant
Leonard C. Lindsay and Carl E.W. Zehner were vacationing on Holland America Line's Kenny Byrd of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, one of the lawyers representing Lindsay and Zehner, told USA TODAY.
In the complaint, they seek more than monetary compensation for the former Zaandam passengers. The suit would also require Holland America and Carnival Corp. to reform. The complaint includes an injunction that going forward requires the defendants to do the following:
- Disclose to future passengers the nature and rate of risk of communicable disease on their ships
- Implement disinfection and sanitization procedures on their ships during and in between sailings
- Implement proper social and physical distancing protocols
- Disembark and quarantine passengers when the cruise line becomes aware of a heightened risk of a communicable disease on board
- Cancel or discontinue the operation of cruises when they become aware of a deadly pathogen or something similar on their ships
The complaint alleges that Carnival Corp. and Holland America were negligent in failing to take action to safeguard against and mitigate the risk of infection of coronavirus to their passengers after the company became aware that the virus had spread on several Carnival-owned ships, including Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess and Grand Princess.
The case cites the World Health Organization's Jan. 30 decision declaring coronavirus a global health emergency. The U.N. health agency suspend cruise operations for at least 30 days after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global pandemic.
The next day, the Zaandam attempted to port in Argentina and was rejected. After facing rejection, they tried to return to a port where it previously stopped, Punta Arenas, Chile, hoping to unload passengers there. The ship was denied and continued on aimlessly after passengers learned the remainder of their voyage was canceled March 15, according to the suit.
On March 31, the Zaandam Johns Hopkins data.