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Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action

Shine Lawyers has commenced a class action on behalf of all passengers affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 on board the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney on Thursday 19 March, 2020.


What is the Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action about?

Shine Lawyers has filed a class action against the owner and operator of the Ruby Princess.

It is alleged that the outbreak of Coronavirus on the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney on Thursday 19 March 2020, resulted from a failure to take appropriate measures to ensure that passengers were safe and protected from contracting the virus on the ship.

We allege this failure constitutes breaches of the cruise owner and operator’s duty of care to its passengers, and of the consumer guarantees and other provisions of Australian Consumer Law.

Background

On Sunday 8 March 2020, the Ruby Princess cruise ship departed Circular Quay.

Passengers were not informed that there were 158 cases of people with coronavirus-like symptoms logged on the previous voyage, and they were also not informed of the potential risks they faced of coronavirus on the cruise. Further, no adequate steps appear to have been taken to adequately protect passengers whilst on the cruise.

After an 11-day round trip to New Zealand, the ship docked in Sydney on Thursday 19 March. Ruby Princess passengers were permitted to disembark at Sydney’s Circular Quay and return to their homes.

Since leaving the ship, over 700 passengers have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Passengers on the Ruby Princess consisted of Australian residents, as well as US citizens and citizens of a number of other countries.

Overseas Group Member Application

On Friday 10 September 2021, Carnival and Princess’ application seeking to prevent overseas group members from participating in the class action was dismissed. In short, the Court found that the Federal Court of Australia is not a ‘clearly inappropriate forum’, meaning that it is able to hear the claims brought by overseas passengers. Specifically to those passengers bound by the US terms and conditions, the Court held that the exclusive jurisdiction clause should not be enforced as it would result in the fracturing of litigation, meaning that it was possible that the same issues would be heard by multiple courts. The Court also found that the class action waiver clause in the US terms and conditions is unfair and for that reason could not be enforced by Carnival.

The Court’s decision means that, subject to any appeal, the class action will be proceeding for all passengers and close family members suffering from a recognised psychiatric injury as a result of the events that occurred.

Trial

The class action has been listed for trial on 10 October 2022 for four weeks.

Can I join the Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action?

You are able to sign up to the class action if:

  • You were one of the passengers on the Ruby Princess that departed Circular Quay on 8 March 2020 (regardless of whether or not you contracted the coronavirus).
  • You are an executor, administrator or personal representative of the estate of a passenger who contracted coronavirus on the cruise and subsequently passed away.
  • You are a family member or loved one of an ill or deceased passenger and you have suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of your loved one contracting the virus on the cruise.

If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be entitled to compensation, and you are encouraged to register for the Ruby Princess Class Action. If you are unsure whether you can participate in the class action, please contact us so that we can provide you with further assistance regarding your legal rights.

How to register for the Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action

To register for the Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action on a confidential, no-cost, no-obligation basis, please click the ‘Register for the Class Action now’ button below and fill out the registration form.

If you have any questions or require any assistance in registering for the class action, please contact our Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action team on 1800 325 172.

Case Documents

Amended Originating ApplicationFurther Amended Statement of ClaimRespondents' Defence to the Further Amended Statement of Claim

Common Questions

If you were affected by the coronavirus outbreak on the Ruby Princess leaving Sydney on 8 March 2020, you may be eligible to sign up for this class action.

You are automatically a group member in the class action if:

• you were a passenger on board the Ruby Princess that departed on 8 March; OR

• you are an executor, administrator or personal representative of the estate of a passenger who contracted coronavirus on the cruise and subsequently passed way; OR

• you are a close family member of an ill or deceased passenger and you have suffered a psychiatric injury. Common psychiatric injuries, or mental injuries, include depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you are unsure if you are eligible, contact our team on 1800 325 172 or via our website.

To register for the Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action on a confidential basis, click the ‘Register for the Class Action now’ button above and fill out the registration form.

The legal costs will be paid by a third party litigation funder, Balance Legal Capital (BLC) and as such, there are no out of pocket legal expenses for you to pay.

In return for funding the action, upon settlement or judgment in favour of the applicant, BLC will receive, after reimbursement of all disbursements, legal fees and expenses from the settlement or judgment sum, a ‘success’ fee. This is a percentage of any settlement or judgment sum. The amount BLC receives will first need to be determined by the Court as fair and reasonable.

In the event the proceedings are unsuccessful, BLC has agreed to pay any adverse costs order. BLC will also meet any security for costs requirement.

An exact figure can’t be given at this point in the Ruby Princess Coronavirus Class Action.

Examples of what affected people could claim include:

• Damages for distress and disappointment;

• Damages for pain and suffering;

• Ticket price to the extent it has not already been refunded;

• Medical costs; costs of home modification; cost of gratuitous care; loss of capacity to provide domestic services;

• Lost income and lost superannuation;

• Funeral and memorial costs; and

• Aggravated damages.

The damages you are entitled to will depend on the particular circumstances of your claim.

Our legal team are confident the case has good prospects of success. However, litigation is inherently risky and it is not possible to predict the outcome or how long the case will take.

A class action is a legal proceeding where one person, called the lead applicant, makes a claim on behalf of a group who has been affected in a similar way. A participant in a class action is called a group member.

If everyone with a claim against the owners of the Ruby Princess acted individually, their costs would be far greater than if they claim together in one action

The class action against the owners and operators of the Ruby Princess is being led by Vicky Antzoulatos, Practice Leader - Class Actions. Vicky has over 20 years’ experience running large and complex multiparty legal disputes, including class actions.