Ruby Princess found to have breached ACL

The cruise ship companies responsible for the Ruby Princess have been found to have breached consumer law when they embarked on a trip that led to the COVID-19 deaths of 28 passengers and the sickness of more than 600 others.

Wollongong woman Susan Karpik was on the ill-fated voyage with her husband in March 2020 when he fell gravely ill with COVID-19.

The couple was among about 2671 passengers and 1146 crew members on a 13-day cruise from Sydney to several ports in New Zealand. The cruise was abandoned three days early and returned to dock in Sydney.

Ms Karpik began a representative proceedings against Ruby Princess charterer Carnival and owner Princess Cruise Lines, alleging the companies failed to comply with guarantees under Australian Consumer Law and was negligent.

She sought damages for personal injuries and distress and disappointment of more than $360,000.

She was lead applicant in the class action, in which group members included other passengers; and family members and executors of passengers who died from having contracted COVID-19 on the cruise.


Today, the Federal Court handed down its decision, finding Ms Karpik had established causation and loss on each of her claims.

However, it found she did not reach the threshold for damages for personal injuries, and was entitled only to the $4400 refund already issued by Carnival.

The matter was listed for a further case management on 10 November.

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