Chrystal Myers has filed an injury complaint against Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. in Miami, Florida, news sources indicate. The complaint was reportedly filed in the Miami division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on February 13 and concerns a fall that Myers experienced due to slippery conditions aboard the Carnival Fascination. Myers is reportedly seeking damages, interest, and legal fees. It is unclear whether other victims have experienced similar injuries aboard the cruise ship and plan on filing similar complaints.
According to the press, the accident occurred about a year ago, on February 26, 2016. Myers was reportedly leaving a hot tub aboard the Carnival Fascination when she lost her footing due to the slick deck and fell. The complaint suggests that there was no signage or other method of warning patrons of the slick conditions. Because of the fall, Myers reportedly sustained serious injuries, though the nature of those injuries remain publicly unspecified.
Although cruises are supposed to be enjoyable experiences, cruise patrons sometimes experience injury, mass illness, inclement weather, or cruise liner accidents that interfere with their fun. Mass illness sometimes strikes entire boatloads of passengers, as the close proximity and shared diet of the passengers makes for quick spreading of contagious diseases. A number of cruises fall victim to such gastrointestinal outbreaks each year, in particular norovirus.
Norovirus is a type of virus that sickens around 20 million people and kills around 700 people each year, statistics say. It causes acute gastrointestinal strain, including vomiting and diarrhea. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires cruise lines to report when over 3% of the passengers on a cruise are sickened by diseases like norovirus, and according to this data, the five most stricken cruise lines are Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Cunard Line.
The CDC suggests that if you end up on a cruise with ill passengers, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself. Since norovirus is a bacteria, antibacterial gel won’t help much, but plenty of hand-washing should. The CDC recommends washing your hands not just before and after meals, but after touching your face or communal surfaces as well. Since germs spread through hand-to-hand contact, it’s also best to avoid unnecessary physical contact with other passengers. Boosting your immune system by staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising self-control regarding alcohol and rich food consumption is also recommended.
If you do contract norovirus or another illness on a cruise and you believe it is due to negligence on the part of the cruise line, you do have the option of filing a complaint. Cruise lines are obligated to maintain safety and sanitary standards, and failure to do so could be grounds for a suit. One such case took place in 2015 in the U.K., where a class-action lawsuit was filed by the victims of a norovirus outbreak on a cruise. The lawsuit involved 43 passengers, 28 of whom actually contracted the disease. In other cases, passengers who contract more serious illnesses (such as legionella, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms) may be able to successfully sue for damages.