Viking Cruises faces a class action lawsuit claiming punitive damages following the March 24 incident in which some 479 passengers were evacuated by helicopter from the cruise ship Viking Sky when it lost power in gale force winds off the Norwegian coast (see earlier story).
The suit has been filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, by Miami law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman on behalf of plaintiffs Axel and Lauren Freudmann, representing a potential class of up to 1,000 plaintiffs.
In its complaint, the law firm asserts that Viking “negligently sailed through notoriously perilous waters into the path of a Bomb Cyclone where, due to the Defendant’s negligence, the vessel lost power leaving the vessel adrift to be battered by high seas and winds as it drifted towards dangerous reefs.”
The complaint asserts that the cruise ship departed on its voyage “despite the consensus by numerous weather forecasting agencies’ warning of extremely severe winds of Storm 10 gale force capabilities expected in the vessel’s intended and actual path.”
“As forecasted by numerous weather forecasting agencies,” says the complaint, “by the early morning of Saturday, March 23, 2019, the Storm 10 gale force winds and rough seas were battering the vessel so severely that passengers were unable to stand in their staterooms and were being thrown out of their beds; causing various injuries to passengers, including Plaintiffs FREUDMANN.”
“Hundreds of passengers, including Plaintiffs FREUDMANN, were subjected to hours of terror, unsanitary conditions, lack of ventilation, and trauma as they feared for their lives a result of the cruise traveling through extremely severe – all of which could have been easily avoided if Defendants VIKING simply waited to sail until after the severe winter storm passed or rerouted the ship so that the passengers were not exposed to the dangerous weather conditions,” asserts the complaint.” As a result of Defendant’s VIKING’s negligence, passengers sustained physical and emotional injuries”
“Tellingly,” says the complaint, “two Hurtigruten cruise ships delayed their departure from their respective port of calls on March 22, 2019, in order to avoid sailing through the worst of the bomb cyclone the Viking Sky sailed through.”
Read the complaint HERE