What’s the Problem?
The MS Zaandam is owned and operated by Holland America Line, and named for the city of Zaandam, Netherlands. The ship was built by Fincantieri in Marghera, Italy, and delivered in 2000. Zaandam belongs to the Rotterdam class of ocean liners, and is a sister ship to Volendam, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.
On March 7, 2020, Zaandam departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, sailing for San Antonio, Chile with 1,243 passengers and 586 crew. Over the next week, at least 13 passengers and over 100 crew members had complained of “flu-like symptoms,” according to K5 News. By March 24, the number of sick people aboard Zaandam had risen to 77.
Zaandam was denied transit through the Panama Canal on March 27 due to the number of sick people on board. At least 4 passengers died while waiting for permission to transit the Panama Canal, with the number of sick aboard climbing to 148. By March 31, the number of ill on the ship had increased to 193.
Holland America still had not received permission to dock Zaandam at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by March 30. Associated Press reported that the city’s mayor, Dean Trantalis, “said he didn’t want the ship to dock near his city, at least without extensive precautions.”
As of late April, approximately 120 cruise ships with more than 80,000 crew on board are sailing in U.S. waters; at least 20 have known or suspected COVID-19 infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The true number of people who have been infected with coronavirus on cruise ships may never be known. Crew members experiencing symptoms aboard the Zaandam say they have not been tested and are waiting in isolated cabins, while countless others may have the virus but experience no symptoms, spreading it to those around them unknowingly.
“When you realize the impact the virus is having on the cruise ship in that kind of environment, it’s an environment that has unique challenges,” said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. “A single case can amplify to an outbreak extremely quickly. …The opportunities for amplification and spread in this kind of setting are really challenging.”
Do I Have a Zaandam Cruise Ship Coronavirus Lawsuit?
The Workplace and Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zaandam Cruise Ship Coronavirus Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one was exposed to the coronavirus on a cruise ship, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.