Passenger Sues Cruise Line over Alleged Medical Negligence

Celebrity Cruises, Inc. was sued on Wednesday in the Southern District of Florida. The complaint alleged that Celebrity committed medical negligence when treating the plaintiff for a gastrointestinal hemorrhage that required a blood transfusion.

The plaintiff was a passenger on board a vessel owned and operated by the defendant for a seven-day cruise vacation. The cruise began on December 4, 2021. Five days into the cruise, the complaint said, the plaintiff was admitted to the shipboard medical center and subsequently diagnosed with a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. The plaintiff’s face was noted as being extremely pale, and their hemoglobin had dropped significantly.

The medical staff on board the vessel explained to the plaintiff and their family that emergency blood transfusions would be necessary to save the plaintiff’s life. The plaintiff signed the necessary paperwork in light of the medical staff’s urgent statements. The complaint asserts that the plaintiff “always expected and believed that Defendant Celebrity would solicit blood, screen donors, and perform the transfusions in a safe/reasonable manner.”

The defendant does not store donor blood on the vessel for transfusions. When it became apparent that the plaintiff would need one, they announced the emergency over the public address system and obtained blood from four passengers who were all unknown to the plaintiff.

The complaint explains that in the course of the transfusion and medical treatment process, the defendant and its medical staff “were negligent, breached the applicable standards of care, and violated [their own] policies, procedures, and directives.” As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff was infected with HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, following the transfusion, which they explain will cause them severe physical, emotional, and financial harm for the rest of their life.

The complaint cites multiple counts against the defendant, including medical negligence and vicarious liability for medical negligence based upon actual and apparent agency. The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of the minimal jurisdictional limits of the Court, post-judgment interest, litigation fees, and a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Leesfield Scolaro, P.A.