French passengers on fatal Covid cruise suffered ‘ordeal’

The lawyer for hundreds of French passengers has accused Costa Croisières of ‘fraud, homicide and unintentional injury’ after Covid cases and deaths on board in March 2020

24 February 2021
A Costa Crosiere ship. French passengers on fatal Covid cruise suffered ‘ordeal’The French plaintiffs took the company Costa Croisieres to court after their experience in March 2020
By Hannah Thompson

Passengers on a cruise ship run by French company Costa Croisières lived “through an ordeal”, the lawyer on the legal case against the firm has said, after the death of three passengers in March 2020.

The company stands accused of “aggravated fraud, homicide and unintentional injury".

The case was brought against it by several hundred French passengers, after three people died on board when the ship was denied entry to several Caribbean ports in March 2020, due to many cases of Covid-19 on board.

Lawyer Me Philippe Courtois this week told news service FranceInfo that “no information was given to most of the passengers, who lived through a real ordeal”.

The plaintiffs accuse the company of not informing them of several suspected cases on board, and of not having put necessary measures in place to respect health regulations.

Me Courtois said: “They had been assured that there were no Italian passengers, as at the time, Italy was absolutely orange, to dark-orange [at high risk of Covid].

“Unfortunately, they realised on arrival that there were more than 200 Italian passengers from towns that were affected by the epidemic.”

The lawyer said that this example was just one in a long line of faults with the company.

He said: “The prefect of Martinique told the captain of this ship to keep the passengers in their rooms and bring food to them. He did not respect this advice.

“There was also no checking on board, contrary to what had been said.

“The Costa company put 2,300 passengers at risk, and some of them wanted a refund on their trip before getting on board. Costa refused.”

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