Crew members aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship filed a class action law suit against Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. claiming crew members were exposed to COVID-19, including three who died due to their exposure. The complaint alleges that the crew members were required to participate in shipboard drills as well as allowed to eat in buffet settings. The crew members have brought claims including Jones Act negligence, unseaworthiness and failure to provide maintenance and cure. Royal Caribbean has asked a Florida federal judge to dismiss the case, alleging that the maritime claims made by the Plaintiff, Mykola Molchun, require a showing that he suffered cognizable injury and that he did not suffer any harm himself.
This case may have a broader effect on crew members in the fishing industry, as a failure to take into account COVID-related guidelines and safety measures may make fishing vessels “unseaworthy” under Maritime law.
If you are a maritime employee and have any concerns related to how this issue may affect you please do not hesitate to contact us.
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