Pain and Suffering for Profit
By The Editorial Board
Hardly a business doesn’t expect to be harmed by the coronavirus pandemic, but you had to know that trial lawyers would find a way to turn a buck from all the pain and suffering. Sure enough, a Florida law firm is now seeking to shake down Princess Cruise Lines for causing emotional distress to passengers recently quarantined off the coast of California.
Chalik & Chalik Law has filed two lawsuits against Princess Cruise for gross negligence. Two of the plaintiffs are parents of one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, and they are seeking $1 million in damages.
“We believe the cruise lines have a pattern of putting profits over their passengers,” attorney Jason Chalik told legal newsletter The Recorder. “They’re afraid if they stop running the ships they’ll lose money, when that’s what they should do for the safety of their customers.” He says more lawsuits may be coming.
But passengers joined the cruises at a time when news about the virus was already spreading fast around the world. Another 3,000 people last month were quarantined on a Princess Cruise off the coast of Japan at the orders of government officials.
Mr. Chalik nonetheless says that few of the 3,500 on the California cruise were screened for coronavirus. “Passengers were simply asked to fill out a piece of paper confirming they were not sick,” the lawsuit says. But coronavirus tests weren’t widely available.
Hotels and restaurants could also be sued under this “gross negligence” standard since any customer who walks through their doors could carry the virus. And if the U.S. government stopped the Princess Cruises from docking, why is the company responsible?