But, now some individuals who sailed on a Disney Cruise Line ship prior to those closures have sued Disney claiming they contracted COVID-19 while on their cruise.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney Cruise Line is currently facing 4 federal lawsuits. These lawsuits are from Utah and Arizona tourists who claim that they contracted COVID-19 while on board the Disney Fantasy last March, right before cruises were suspended due to the pandemic.
The lawsuits were filed in the federal court’s Orlando division on March 2nd. The tourists involved in the lawsuits claim that they contracted COVID-19 while on board and started to feel sick.
The Orlando Sentinel shares that the lawsuits claim that Disney refused to let passengers cancel or reschedule their cruises even if they had “autoimmune diseases and compromised health conditions.” So, the tourists reportedly claim they were “left without any option” but to go on their planned trip from March 7th through the 14th, 2020.
The lawsuits also claim that Disney continued to allow passengers to “eat in buffet settings, provide group entertainment activities aboard the vessel (such as dancing) and otherwise allowed passengers to fully participate in the subject cruise as it there was no COVID-19 outbreak.”
The lawsuits say that the child of some of the plaintiffs (who had an unspecified autoimmune disease) was taken to a hospital intensive care unit just days after the cruise ended with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The child and those plaintiffs ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, according to the lawsuits filed.
The claims of another one of the lawsuits says that one of the plaintiffs had a child with an autoimmune disease, and another with asthma. According to the lawsuits, the children had various symptoms and later tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15th. The kids’ mother also felt sick on board and eventually tested positive for COVID-19, according to the lawsuit.
The Orlando Sentinel shares that on March 8th, 2020, the U.S. Department of State recommended that Americans not travel on cruise ships. The Sentinel also notes that Disney currently has a COVID-19 warning on its website that indicates “By sailing with Disney Cruise Line you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”
Disney has responded to the allegations saying, “Our thoughts continue to be with those around the world who have been affected by COVID-19. We disagree with the allegations and will respond to them in court. No guests or Crew reported symptoms of Covid-19 while aboard the Disney Fantasy during the March 7, 2020, sailing. Disney Cruise Line communicated health and safety information with guests in advance of and during their sailing and had numerous protocols in place at the time.”
For the moment, Disney Cruise Line has canceled select sailings through August. We’ll keep an eye out for any more Disney Cruise Line updates and let you know what we find.
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