Passenger Sues After Allegedly Contracting Legionnaires' disease Aboard a Cruise Ship

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  • In mid-October, a former cruise ship passenger filed a lawsuit, alleging that he contracted Legionnaires' disease while on a cruise.
  • The passenger sued Royal Caribbean, claiming they failed to protect him from the disease, which had already infected other cruise passengers in the months prior.
  • The plaintiff claims to have suffered damage to his kidneys, lungs, and heart due to the disease.

A passenger who allegedly contracted a serious disease aboard a cruise ship late last year is now suing the cruise line.

According to the passenger, he boarded a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Miami in November 2015. After setting sail the passenger was notified that authorities on the ship had identified Legionella on the ship, but it was too late for him to disembark in order to avoid the illness. The notification reportedly informed passengers that the company had identified the disease in the ship’s water system during previous voyages.

After the voyage, Royal Caribbean reportedly sent communication to passengers informing them that they may have been exposed to Legionnaires' disease, and that they should seek medical treatment should they develop any symptoms. After returning home the plaintiff began experiencing symptoms consistent with Legionnaires' disease, visited a medical facility, and was hospitalized.

The plaintiff’s suit alleges that he suffered heart, lung, and kidney damage as a result of the disease.

Legionnaires' disease is a serious illness which is actually a form of pneumonia. It is known that the organisms which cause the disease can sometimes be found in water systems. Though the majority of people who contract the bug will eventually recover, it is estimated that a significant number of victims, between 5%-30%, will die from the disease.