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A couple still aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship is suing Princess Cruise Lines for $1 million over its handling of coronavirus

CNN's Nick Watt reports.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 3:50 AM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 3:50 AM

A Florida couple still aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in Oakland, California, has filed a lawsuit against the ship's operator Princess Cruise Lines, accusing the company of gross negligence in allowing them to be exposed to coronavirus on the ship.

Ronald and Eva Weissberger, of Broward County, are seeking more than $1 million in damages from the cruise line, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

They are two of the more than 3,500 passengers and crew members aboard the cruise liner that was held off the coast of San Francisco for days after 21 people -- two passengers and 19 crew members -- tested positive for the illness.

Passengers began disembarking the vessel Monday. More passengers are expected to be removed from the ship Tuesday morning, according to an announcement from the ship's captain.

On Sunday, the State Department warned Americans to not travel by cruise ship because of a spike in cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, linked to cruises.

The lawsuit accuses Princess Cruise Lines of sailing despite "knowing that the ship was infected from two previous passengers who came down with symptoms of COVID-19, and had sixty two passengers on board."

In response to the lawsuit, Princess Cruises issued a statement saying: "Princess has been sensitive to the difficulties the COVID-19 outbreak has caused to our guests and crew. Our response throughout this process has focused on well-being our guests and crew within the parameters mandated on us by the government agencies involved and the evolving medical understanding of this new illness. We (sic) not been served with any lawsuit relating to this matter, and we will not comment on any pending litigation."

The couple boarded the ship on February 21 and, along with all other passengers in this sailing, were not examined or screened before they got on the vessel even though the ship had previously had two people on board with the virus, the lawsuit said. They were also not given warning by the cruise line of the potential of exposure before they boarded or while they were already aboard, according to the filing.

The lawsuit says no passengers aboard the Grand Princess were informed when an email went out to previous ship passengers on February 25 notifying them of a possible exposure on the ship.

The Weissbergers would not have boarded the ship if they had been told and would have disembarked in Honolulu on February 26 if they had been made aware of the risk, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges the couple is now at "actual risk of immediate physical injury." They are also "suffering from emotional distress" and are "traumatized from the fear of developing COVID-19," according to the suit.

The suit also says that the cruise line should have taken more precautionary measures after another ship in its fleet, the Diamond Princess, experienced an outbreak of the virus in February that infected more than 700 people.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1385749

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1538881574
Cuyahoga1358332341
Hamilton987081326
Montgomery679671161
Summit568451051
Lucas51531869
Butler48000663
Stark42232983
Lorain32046539
Warren30404338
Mahoning27463643
Clermont25990297
Lake24809422
Delaware22566147
Licking20767246
Fairfield20730223
Greene20611275
Trumbull20257516
Medina20074290
Clark18170332
Richland16680236
Portage16389231
Wood15926209
Allen14333261
Miami14018261
Muskingum12927155
Wayne12185244
Columbiana11980242
Tuscarawas11204271
Marion10908150
Pickaway10606129
Scioto10531127
Erie9864171
Ross9612177
Lawrence8934125
Hancock8603143
Ashtabula8474187
Geauga8251156
Belmont8236188
Jefferson7691175
Huron7537131
Union742651
Washington7380126
Athens709365
Sandusky6963135
Darke6875137
Knox6812122
Seneca6519137
Ashland6051115
Auglaize595388
Shelby5820104
Brown575372
Mercer565190
Defiance5564101
Crawford5563117
Madison551071
Highland549282
Fulton542583
Clinton533781
Logan518687
Preble5102111
Putnam4900107
Guernsey484364
Williams468982
Perry462254
Champaign454264
Ottawa442484
Jackson434563
Pike398345
Morrow396451
Coshocton391969
Fayette383753
Adams369275
Hardin366170
Gallia355458
Holmes3321111
Henry329869
Van Wert320771
Hocking310770
Wyandot285458
Carroll266352
Paulding246443
Meigs221742
Monroe192749
Noble174142
Morgan170029
Harrison160741
Vinton141319
Unassigned05
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