Lawsuit filed against cruise ship that passengers say was a ‘ticking coronavirus time bomb’

ATLANTA — A class-action lawsuit against a major cruise line claims passengers were subjected to a ticking coronavirus time bomb.

Channel 2 Action News first told you about how hundreds of passengers from the Costa Luminosa cruise ship landed in Atlanta a few weeks ago with COVID-19 cases on board.

Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik was in North Fulton County, where he spoke to one lawyer who’s filing his own lawsuit.

The Costa Luminosa was first stranded off the coast of France. A week later, the cruise line flew hundreds of passengers to Atlanta's airport and let them get off. Many were sick and others became symptomatic days later.


Jenny Harrell was one of hundreds of ship passengers funneled through the Atlanta airport on a private charter flight a few weeks ago despite positive COVID-19 cases on the boat and the plane.

"They had all these people on a boat for 17 days with people that tested positive," Harrell said. "Did they care? Did they come and say we needed to be separated? No. Did they try to protect anybody on the boat? No. What did they do? They put us on a plane from France all the way to the United States."

Petchenik spoke to California-based personal injury attorney Jerimiah Lowe. He's planning to file a lawsuit against the cruise line on behalf of Kalea and Jim Nevis, who both contracted the coronavirus on board.

There's already a class-action lawsuit filed against the cruise company on behalf of the affected passengers.

“The Costa Luminosa was really slow to address the problem and didn’t act appropriately, it appears from the reporting that's been done," Lowe said.

Lowe said when passengers disembarked, the cruise line put passengers with others who were perhaps not sick and spread the contamination.

"We’re looking at protocols on the ship and disembarking," Lowe said.

Lowe is filing his lawsuit Monday.

Petchenik reached out to Costa Cruise Lines and its parent company, Carnival, over the last few days. So far, the company hasn’t responded to questions about what happened.