Celebrity Cruises employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the company this week, accusing it of negligence in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak aboard the Celebrity Infinity.
ABCNews.com reports that the suit claims that Celebrity had received warning that COVID-19 was easily transmissible aboard cruise ships when an outbreak sidelined the Diamond Princess in early February. Japanese authorities quarantined the Diamond Princess and its passengers off the country's coast for over two weeks, during which time approximately 700 passengers and crew contracted the virus and over a half dozen died.
"With all of the information around the world about COVID and how dangerous it is and how people are dying around the world, I was a little surprised that no one was taking precautions," said Alexandra Nedeltcheva, a plaintiff in the suit. ABC reports that not only did the company deny crew members protective gear, but Nedeltcheva says they were prevented from using masks until some employes were so sick that they had to go to the hospital.
When the crew was finally placed in quarantine on March 25, it was too late to prevent much of the damage from being done. Nedeltcheva tested positive for COVID-19 within the week after the lockdown was ordered.
"The majority of the food and beverage department is sick because we were the ones that are in constant contact with all other people on board," she said.