Eight Jamaicans who were aboard the Marella Discovery II cruise ship are to take legal action against the Government after they were initially unable to enter the island and later tested positive for COVID-19.
The revelation was made by one of the lawyers expected to bring forth the lawsuit, Jennifer Housen, who spoke with CBR on Thursday.
The potential suit could see the group arguing that the government infringed their constitutional rights, in addition to allegations that they may have caught the deadly coronavirus in State quarantine facilities.
“As far as we are concerned their rights were violated and it has caused them harm, the fact that they were denied entry and, I think it is something that must be ventilated in the courts,” Housen told CBR.
Housen said while the details of the lawsuit were not finalised, as she is awaiting further instruction from her clients, following their release from quarantine, the matter is likely to result in a lawsuit given the suffering the group has had to endure.
“This now isn’t just the case of them stopping them from entering the country but whether or not them [having] tested positive after testing negative at the start – whether that impacts on the direction of any litigation,” added Housen.
The Marella Discovery II cruise was denied access to dock when the vessel stopped in Jamaican waters on April 2.
Housen revealed that on May 8 the workers tested negative before arriving in Jamaica but later tested positive on May 20. She noted that she was suggesting that if they tested negative on May 8, they would have tested negative on April 3, had they initially been allowed entry.
The cruise ship was home to some 45 Jamaicans stranded at sea following the closure of Jamaica’s boarders on March 24, in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.