Law firm Shine Justice (ASX: SHJ) has filed a class action against the operators of the Ruby Princess cruise ship, Carnival Plc and Princess Cruise Lines, over the alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak on board.
The law firm is seeking compensation through the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of passengers, their families and the estates of those who died.
Shine class actions practice leader Vicky Antzoulatos says it is alleged the defendants broke consumer laws by breaching consumer guarantees and by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.
Further, Shine alleges the operators of the Ruby Princess were negligent and failed in their duty of care to provide passengers with a safe cruise.
"We say the owner and operator knew of the risks that passengers may contract coronavirus before the ship left and they failed to take steps to ensure their passengers were safe and protected," says Antzoulatos.
"People on board the ship trusted Carnival to do the right thing but they were not told about the risk of coronavirus and some paid the ultimate price for it.
"More than 20 people have died, many remain gravely ill, while others struggle daily with the grief of having lost a loved one or having to care for a very sick relative."
All 2,700 passengers who travelled on the Ruby Princess, departing from Circular Quay on 8 March and disembarking on 19 March, 2020, are eligible to join the class action, as are relatives who have suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of the events that occurred.
The executors and administrators of deceased passengers' estates are also eligible to participate in the class action.
More than 600 people linked to the cruise ship outbreak were infected with COVID-19, with the situation sparking a Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess in mid-April.
Updated at 9:22am AEST on 24 July 2020.
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