Norovirus Aboard Celebrity Solstice Kills Father of Eight

Courthouse News Service reports that a lawsuit has been filed against Celebrity Cruises for the death of a father of eight after he died from incompetent medical care for norovirus he contracted during a vacation cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice. The lawsuit alleges that Joseph Gavigan Jr., from Orleans, Massachusetts, embarked the Solstice cruise ship in January of this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the cruise, a norovirus outbreak occurred and Mr. Gavigan contracted the illness. The lawsuit alleges that Celebrity failed to take adequate precautions to screen passengers and crewmembers, failed to sanitize and disinfect the cruise ship and disinfect plates, cups, food trays, utensils, ice machines and drinking fountains, failed to quarantine infected passengers and crewmembers and failed to warn Mr. Gavigan about the virus. The lawsuit also alleges that Celebrity provided negligent medical care to Mr. Gavigan, and negligently selected the cruise ship medical staff who held themselves out as agents of the cruise line. A copy of the lawsuit is available on line and can be viewed here. The lawsuit was filed by attorney Keith Brais, a very experienced maritime lawyer who used to be a defense lawyer for Celebrity Cruises and other cruise lines. The Centers for Decease Control and Prevention reports that 118 cruise passengers and 10 crewmembers reported ill during the voyage. You can read more about the CDC's report for this voyage aboard the Solstice here. The popular on line community Cruise Critic contains Celebrity's official press statement about the norovirus outbreaks (which preceded Mr. Gavigan's cruise) as well as the accounts of unhappy cruisers some of whom felt that the medical staff was incompetent and the cruise line was trying to cover-up and down-play the outbreaks. An on line obituary indicates that Mr. Gavigan, nicknamed "Junior," is survived by 21 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren in addition to his 8 children and companion. Photo credit: Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home

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