‘My own mother almost died’: Central Valley family joins class action lawsuit against Carnival, Princess cruise lines

Local News

(KTXL) — A Central Valley family said their dream cruise turned into a nightmare when they contracted COVID-19 aboard a Carnival Cruise ship back in February.

“I was looking forward to some nice fun in the sun in Mexico and relaxing and going on some of the excursions,” James Simmons shared. 

The family reunion trip promised a vacation quite like no other. Unfortunately, Simmons told FOX40, that’s exactly what happened.

“They were wrong and they endangered a lot of lives. There’s been multiple people who have died from our cruise ship. My own mother almost died,” Simmons said. 

Simmons said he, along with four other family members got sick with COVID-19.

Now he, his mom and dad, are part of a class action lawsuit against Carnival and the company they own, Princess Cruise Lines.

“We want Carnival and Princess to be held accountable for the harm that they caused to their passengers,” Simmons’s family attorney Mark Chalos said. 

Chalos said Carnival failed to protect its passengers.

“Instead of taking appropriate action, they chose to try to convey to their passengers that everything was fine, everything was normal,” Chalos said. 

The company said in a statement:

Our response throughout this process has focused on the well-being of our guests and crew within the parameters dictated to us by the government agencies involved and the evolving medical understanding of this new illness.  

Princess Cruises

They would not comment on any pending litigation. 

Chalos and Simmons said the cruise line knew that at least one passenger had become ill while Simmons was on-board. 

“They didn’t encourage any social distancing,” Simmons said. “The buffets were open as usual, people were crowded in lines.”

Simmons told FOX40 he had to miss days of work because of COVID-19 and the virus hit his mother especially hard.

“She had shortness of breath, she had a terrible cough, she developed blood clots in her lungs,” Simmons explained. 

Chalos also claims the cruise line was aware of a COVID-19 outbreak on another Carnival ship prior to the Simmons’s family trip.

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