Norovirus lawsuit hits the courts; cruise passengers win!

ByRick Deutsch

Norovirus lawsuit hits the courts; cruise passengers win!

We’ve talked endlessly about the Norovirus. It’s the bug that you can get by ingesting – well – “germs” from others. That can be most easily happen on a cruise ship. If someone is ill, they may transfer it to you via handrails, bathroom doors, and the food buffet.

Now passengers are fighting back.

Norovirus

Close up view of the Norovirus

The Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca ship had some of their passengers hit with diarrhea, vomiting and severe stomach cramps. Not willingly – but they got the bug. It was in 2011, that 16 pax got ill. They filed and a UK court found that the guests were entitled to compensation.

This is unprecedented. In fact, it’s the very first time passengers got payments because they got sick. It’s the first time that a court has awarded compensation to cruise ship guests for an illness. The cruise was sailing the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and the Iberian Peninsula

After losing the first go round, an appeals court found Fred Olsen Cruise Lines guilty of neglect for the suffering of the passengers. Typical protocol is to quarantine people for three days.

The courts later rejected the cruise line’s claim that it was not at fault, and agreed with the trial judge there were “multiple failures” in their strategy to prevent the spread of the norovirus on the ship. The stomach bug ruling now paves the way for the passengers to receive a fair settlement of their claims. The amounts were not made public.

What do you think? Is this fair to the line?  If indeed they are sanitizing before and during a cruise, microbes will be microbes. Other passengers  may have gotten onboard sick and the ship should not be at fault. Passengers need to plan ahead and sanitize their hands frequently.

Read more blogs about norovirus <here> or do a search on this website to read any of the multiple epistles we’ve written on the topic.

 

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