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3 Utah residents sue Disney Cruise Line, claim they caught COVID-19 on ship

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Posted at 3:48 PM, Mar 10, 2021

MIAMI — Three Utah residents have sued Disney Cruise Lines claiming they contracted COVID-19 while on a cruise last year at the beginning of the pandemic.

READ: Utahns on quarantined cruise ship return home (March 2020)

In separate lawsuits filed on March 2 in U.S. District Court in Florida, Kailee Taylor and Jana and Scott Olsen say Disney put them in harm's way while traveling on the Disney Fantasy from March 7-14, 2020.

With the pandemic in its early stages, both parties claim they contacted Disney before their cruise to postpone or cancel the trip. The lawsuit says the company would not change their bookings, but assured them their families would be safe.

Taylor says she began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms four days into the cruise, including severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, diminished lung capacity, body aches, fever, headaches. After returning home, Taylor and one of her children tested positive for the coronavirus on April 15.

READ: Norwegian Cruise Line suspends most cruises through May

Upon returning from the cruise, the Olsens say their child was taken to a hospital on March 16, 2020 with high fever and troubled breathing. The child, who had an unspecified autoimmune disease, and the parents tested positive for COVID-19.

The lawsuit claims Disney failed to protect guests, allowing passengers to congregate in close proximity at meals and other activities. Buffets also continued to be served to passengers.

According to Taylor, the crew on the ship did not enact quarantine or physical distancing measures.

Taylor and the Olsen family say Disney knew, or should have known, the dangers of COVID-19 before the ship departed.

"Our thoughts continue to be with those around the world who have been affected by COVID-19. We disagree with the allegations and will respond to them in court. No guests or Crew reported symptoms of Covid-19 while aboard the Disney Fantasy during the March 7, 2020, sailing. Disney Cruise Line communicated health and safety information with guests in advance of and during their sailing and had numerous protocols in place at the time," wrote Disney spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez in a statement sent to FOX 13.