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Texas Woman Sues Princess Cruise Lines for Negligence in Husband’s Coronavirus Death

April 15, 2020

Rusty Hardin & Associates suit:  Cruise line knew of danger, failed to warn and delayed medical care    

LOS ANGELES —    A Texas woman  is suing Princess Cruise Lines for  knowingly exposing  her and her husband  to  the  new  coronavirus  and for  preventing  her husband  from leaving the ship   while  his health deteriorated leading  him to ultimately die alone  days later  in a  California  hospital  

On Feb. 21,  Susan Dorety  and her husband  Michael , a  retired firefighter of Crowley, Texas,  boarded  the  Grand Princess cruise  ship in  San Francisco  to celebrate their 40 th  anniversary .   Little did they know that  some passengers  who had  C OVID -19 symptoms  had just  disembarked  while   more than 60   others  were allowed to  remain  on-board  after they had been exposed  to the virus .  

Four days after the Doretys boarded, Princess Cruise Lines  emailed the previous p assengers  who were   no longer on the ship , alerting them that  they had been exposed to the d angerous virus But t h ere was no warning  to the new passengers including the Doretys.    

“It is shocking to me that a cruise line that had just discharged coronavirus-infected passengers took on board a new group of passengers to then mingle with others who had been exposed. Princess had notice of the dangers, the Doretys did not,” said Rusty Hardin of  Rusty Hardin & Associates  of Houston, who represents Mrs. Dorety.  

In addition,  when a crew member with C OVID -19 symptoms left the  Grand Princess  in Hawaii , there still was no alert to passengers.   Mrs. Dorety   says  she and her husband would have disembarked there had they known  about the risks to their health.  

The behavior of Princess Cruise Lines is all the more outrageous because just a few weeks earlier, one of their ships had a coronavirus outbreak infecting 700 people while docked in Japan ,”  said  Mr. Hardin.  “ This cruise line company  put money ahead of  its  passengers' well-being ,  and it cost Michael Dorety his life.”    

After two weeks on the cruise, passengers were  placed  in  quarantine  of f  the California coast and Mr. Dorety fell ill.   M r s. Dorety  called the ship's emergency line multiple  times,   but  no one responded.  Her husband became weak  and  was shivering and feverish  as his health deteriorated . A ship's doctor came at last, giving him Tylenol and Tamiflu, but the couple was not advised  until later that they could leave the ship  for medical treatment .  

Mr. Dorety  died  in an Oakland hospital days later with  no  family by his side. Mrs. Dorety, meanwhile, also contracted Covid-19.   

T he lawsuit filed April 14,  seeks damages for  negligence,  gross negligence  a nd for  other  unlawful acts.  Other members of the Rusty Hardin & Associates team are Ryan Higgins, Daniel Dutko and Leah Graham. Serving as local counsel in California are   Gerald Singleton and J. Ross Peabody of the Singleton Law Firm of San Diego The lawsuit is   Susan Dorety individually and on behalf of the estate of Michael Dorety vs. Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd ., Case No.  2:20-cv-02458,  in the  Central District of U.S. District Court of California.   


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