A New Jersey District Court Judge has ruled that the March 2020 federal liability immunity statute for pandemic-related countermeasures does not create a basis for federal jurisdiction, resulting in the remand of two COVID-19-related personal injury actions.
On February 21, 2020, the cruise ship Grand Princess embarked from San Francisco, headed to Hawaii. Among the ship’s 3,533 passengers and crew were 62 people who had been exposed to COVID-19 on the ship’s immediate prior trip to Mexico. The Hawaii voyage was curtailed and the ship docked off the cost of California for two weeks, during which passengers were confined to their rooms and two dozen people tested positive. A number of personal injury lawsuits followed, the majority of which have been coordinated before Hon. R. Gary Klausner in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.