Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines After Man Infected Aboard Grand Princess Dies Alone
Los Angeles, CA
May 4, 2020
The devastated family of a man who died from COVID-19 after being exposed to the virus aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court.
Several media outlets covered this story, including:
Carl E. Weidner was a vibrant father and a retired steel worker who was forced to die alone due to the alleged negligence of Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines. Carl took his long-time girlfriend Annette Gibbons on a cruise that turned into a nightmare when the ship headed to port early in San Francisco on March 5 due to the outbreak. The nightmare continued when they were both put into quarantine at the Travis Air Base and Carl tested positive for the coronavirus. Within a few days he was put on a ventilator, then into a medically induced coma after which he died on March 26 without his girlfriend or his children present.
“What makes Carl’s death even more tragic is that this was entirely preventable because Princess failed at every turn to inform passengers, properly clean its boat or take proper safety precautions,” said attorney Mary Alexander. “Carl was able to win his fight against cancer, but he was taken down by Princess Cruise Line’s extreme negligence and dishonesty.”
Annette recounted her experiences on the ship where she alleged there was little done by the Princess Cruise staff to ensure passenger safety. For example, the buffet line did not offer ample sanitizer for patrons and the salt and pepper shakers were handled by numerous people.
He was so weakened by the disease that a nurse had to hold a phone to his ear in order to talk to his loved ones. Ultimately, rather than passing away surrounded by his family, Carl was cared for by medical staff in hazmat suits and prayed for by a minister standing outside his room.
Grand Princess Coronavirus Outbreak
Before the San Francisco-Hawaii voyage at issue in the lawsuit, from February 11 through February 21, 2020, the Grand Princess sailed between San Francisco and Mexico. On February 19, 2 days before the ill-fated voyage in the lawsuit, at least 1 passenger on the Grand Princess’s Mexico trip reported suffering from COVID-19 symptoms. At least 2 other passengers on the Mexico trip suffered from COVID-19 symptoms at some time during the voyage, likely exposing dozens of other passengers and crew. Despite knowing this, Defendants allowed approximately 62 of these exposed passengers and over 1,000 crew members to remain onboard the Grand Princess after the Mexico trip and to continue traveling to Hawaii, exposing the unknowing new passengers, the Plaintiffs here, to COVID-19. Defendants chose to not disclose this information to the new passengers coming aboard the ship.
The case is Christopher Weidner v. Carnival Corporation, United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. Case 2:20-cv-04074.
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