A former Costa Cruises passenger filed a class action lawsuit against the cruise line, claiming that he had not warned customers of someone on a previous trip who had disembarked after showing symptoms of coronavirus.
Paul Turner was aboard the most recent voyage of the Costa Luminosa, who left Florida on March 5 for a 20-day cruise scheduled to end in Italy.
Several weeks later, during a stopover in France, authorities determined that at least 36 passengers had contracted COVID-19, reported Reuters.
Australian passengers were among those Costa Luminosa who found himself trapped in Italy and forced to isolate himself when the ship docked there.
Fox News reports Mr. Turner’s trial alleges that Costa Cruises made an “intentional decision” to proceed with the March 5 cruise when he knew that a passenger on a previous trip “had Coronavirus symptoms, “according to the lawsuit, which was filed with the US District Court in Florida.
The complaint further alleges that the company intentionally attempted to “hide” this information from passengers on the March 5 cruise.
“In doing so, Costa subjected more than 2,000 passengers to the highly contagious coronavirus, and exposed the passengers to a real risk of physical injury and immediate death,” he added.
the Costa Luminosa left Fort Lauderdale on March 5, but landed its first two passengers, an elderly couple, in Puerto Rico when the ship first called on March 8, Reuters reported. They were hospitalized with possible symptoms of COVID-19, and later tested positive.
The Turner trial further claims that Costa Cruises also learned of a warning issued on March 8 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that American citizens should avoid traveling by cruise ship.
“Instead, they were dragged across the Atlantic in a time bomb against coronaviruses,” said the complaint.
The Governor of Puerto Rico confirmed that the elderly couple tested positive for COVID-19 on March 13, when Costa also learned that a passenger who had disembarked from the previous trip had also tested positive.
Mr. Turner’s trial alleges that Costa did not ask the passengers to isolate in their cabins until March 15. The ship, meanwhile, was denied ports until it was finally cleared to dock near Marseille, France, where the COVID-19 tests were administered.
“Simply put, Costa has recklessly and intentionally made thousands of passengers into a living nightmare in order to protect its results,” said the complaint.
Mr. Turner is claiming “all recoverable damages under the law” for himself and his fellow passengers, including punitive damages.
Mr. Turner’s trial comes when a crew member on board the Costa Favolosa died in a Florida hospital after contracting COVID-19, reports the Miami Herald.
At the end of March, the two Costa Favolosa and the Costa magica docked in Florida with dozens of crew members reporting symptoms of “flu-like” illness. The ships had already been hijacked from many ports.
A representative of Costa Cruises, who belongs to the Carnival Corporation, was not immediately available to comment on the trial.
This article originally appeared on Fox News and has been reproduced with permission