Passengers Suing Disney Cruise Line Claim They Caught COVID-19 on Cruise Last Year
Multiple passengers from Utah and Arizona are suing Disney Cruise Line, claiming they caught COVID-19 while onboard the Disney Fantasy in March 2020, before cruises were paused.
The passengers filed four lawsuits seeking unspecified damages on March 2, 2021, in federal court’s Orlando division. According to the lawsuits, Disney did not allow the passengers to cancel or reschedule their cruises even if they had “autoimmune diseases or compromised health conditions” leaving them “without any option” but to go on their March 2020 trip.
“Disney continued to allow passengers … to eat in buffets settings, provide group entertainment activities aboard the vessel (such as dancing) and otherwise allowed passengers to fully participate in the subject cruise as if there was no COVID-19 outbreak or threat thereof aboard the vessel,” the lawsuits state.
The plaintiffs are Arizona residents Judy Parkin and Krystal Skinner and Utah residents Kailee Taylor and Scott and Jana Olsen. They all retained the same Miami law firm.
The passengers all claim they contracted the virus while on board their March 7 through 14 sailing. It was on March 8, 2020, that the U.S. Department of State recommended Americans not travel on cruise ships.
Scott and Jana Olson took their child, who has an autoimmune disease, to a hospital ICU on March 16, 2020 with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The child tested positive for COVID-19 on May 1, and the parents also tested positive. Their lawsuit stated, “Plaintiffs feared for their own lives as well as the lives of each other.”
Krystal Skinner’s child, who also has an autoimmune disorder, felt body aches, fever, chills, and a cough on the cruise. Her other child, who has asthma, had migraines, fever, and difficulty breathing. Skinner herself also felt sick on board and all three tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15.
The lawsuits outline how there were early concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks on cruises, including on Carnival’s Diamond Princess, which had almost 700 cases in early February and quarantined for two weeks at Yokohama Harbor in Japan.
Neither Disney Cruise Line nor the passengers’ attornies provided comment to Orlando Sentinel.