If you become ill while on a cruise ship, you may be left wondering if it was a result of negligence on the part of the staff. Falling ill while on a cruise does not mean that the cruise line is responsible. However, if many people become similarly ill, it may be due to negligence.
There are three main ailments that can be attributed to the negligence of cruise ship staff: norovirus, food poisoning and Legionnaire’s Disease. Food poisoning and norovirus are mildly serious, whereas Legionnaire’s Disease can be life-threatening.
Norovirus, also called the stomach flu, can spread by contaminated food and water, as well as by physical contact with someone carrying the virus or something that person has touched. Norovirus is extremely contagious, and also very common. Although cruise ship norovirus outbreaks have been see frequently on the news, you will still need to prove that a cruise ship was negligent in some way in order to hold them responsible for damages after contracting norovirus.
Food poisoning is an ailment that is most often the result of negligence and is not uncommon to cruise ships. If a chef aboard the ship is ill and does not properly wash his or her hands, you may be able to demonstrate negligence on the part of the cruise staff.
Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious and possibly fatal illness. The disease comes from a common bacteria that grows in warm water and thrives in complex plumbing and heating systems like the ones found on cruise ships. The bacteria is killed by hot water, so a cruise ship may be held liable if they inadequately heat their pools and hot tubs.
There are steps you can take to best support your negligence claim against a cruise line. You can ask how many other people on board fell sick, and what their symptoms were. You can find out whether extra precautions were taken in order to protect against illness, and whether the crew made any health announcements or warnings. Check to see how many people are in the ship’s hospital and whether any are in quarantine. Additionally, you can also check to see if the ship had deviated from its original itinerary. Any information you can collect can be beneficial to your claim.