On 25 October 2023, the Federal Court of Australia delivered its judgment on Mrs Karpik’s individual claim and the common issues in the class action and has ruled in favour of the class action. The Judge determined that:
Carnival and Princess Cruises were negligent in failing to cancel the voyage, or take appropriate measures to protect passengers from contracting COVID-19 on board the ship;
the outbreak of COVID-19 on the Ruby Princess resulted from Carnival and Princess Cruises’ negligence;
those failures also constituted breaches of Australian Consumer Law guarantees; and
the Lead Applicant is entitled to damages for her personal injuries, distress and disappointment, arising from the Ruby Princess Cruise.
The judgment is a significant win for all the passengers affected.
The matter is next listed before the Court on 24 November for further directions.
To view a summary of the judgment, please use this link.
Please note that the High Court of Australia Appeal judgment pertaining to overseas passengers who contracted under U.S. terms and conditions has not yet been delivered.
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.
The claim alleges 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.
On Sunday 8 March 2020, the Ruby Princess cruise ship departed Circular Quay.
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.
The High Court of Australia Appeal
On 3 and 4 August 2023, Shine Lawyers appeared before the High Court of Australia to appeal the Full Federal Court’s decision to exclude overseas Ruby Princess class action group members who contracted under the U.S. terms and conditions.
During the hearing, five justices of the High Court heard Shine’s arguments that passengers who contracted under the U.S. terms and conditions should not be excluded from the Ruby Princess Class Action. Shine argued that the terms on which the respondent intends to exclude the overseas passengers are unfair and/or contrary to our class action regime in Australia, and any exclusive jurisdiction clause should not be enforced.
Shine’s argument was supported by the Commonwealth Attorney-General and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission who also appeared at the hearing and made submissions in support of our position.
The respondents opposed our position, arguing that overseas passengers should be held to the terms of their contracts that restrict them participating in a class action, and commencing any proceedings in Australia.
The High Court has reserved its decision on whether overseas passengers who contracted under the U.S. terms and conditions can participate in the Ruby Princess Class Action and seek compensation in Australia.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a class action?
When Governments, large companies or institutions do the wrong thing and people are harmed or suffer loss as a result, an individual can have little to no means of bringing a legal claim.
Class actions are an important mechanism within Australia’s legal system that allow large groups of people to come together to pursue a claim collectively.
For a class action to take place, there are three criteria that need to be met:
There must be 7 or more people that have claims against the same defendant; and
The claims relate to the same or similar circumstances; and
The claim must relate to at least one common issue of law or fact.
For more information about how class actions resolve, click here.
How long do class actions take to resolve?
It can take up to several years for a class action to resolve. The time taken from case commencement through to resolution and settlement administration depends on the particular case, and the nature of the claim.
For more information about class actions and how they work, click here.
Does it cost anything to join a class action?
Shine Lawyers is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or financial situation, has access to justice. We run our class actions in a way that means you are not exposed to any costs or financial risk, so joining a class action will cost you nothing.
When a class action is successful, the legal fees and costs to run the class action are deducted from the settlement amount that is approved by the Court. If the class action is unsuccessful, we will ensure there are no out-of-pocket costs to you.
Will my contact details be kept private?
Yes, your contact details will remain confidential and we will seek your consent before disclosing any of your personal information (including before such disclosure is required by the Court).
Shine Lawyers will only use your personal information strictly for the purpose of the legal proceedings.
Who can join the Ruby Princess Class Action?
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.
How do I register my interest to participate in the Ruby Princess class action?
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.
Why Choose Shine Lawyers?
In successful settlements and judgments
We have secured more than $1 billion in class action settlements and judgments for our group members.
years of collective experience
Our team includes the country’s most experienced class actions experts and litigators with the skill, industry insight and dedication to deliver the best possible outcomes for deserving Australians.
dedicated class actions team members
We are proudly one of the largest class actions teams in the country. Our senior practitioners are supported by a dedicated team devoted to the complex field of class actions.