(Reuters) – A federal judge dismissed lawsuits by Grand Princess cruise ship passengers who sued for emotional distress caused by their fear of exposure to COVID-19 and said allowing their case to continue would "lead to a flood of trivial costumes. "
Judge Gary Klausner of Los Angeles said in Tuesday's ruling that allowing passengers to collect damages based on potential COVID-19 exposure without suffering symptoms raised concerns about unlimited liability for restaurants and other businesses.  Debi Chalik, a lawyer for passengers Ronald and Eva Weissberger, said she was disappointed with the decision and could appeal.
Ms Chalik said that fears of COVID-1
"If a gym or restaurant invites people to come when they know the virus is circulating there, I think you should be able to sue, "she said.
Grand Princess operator Carnival Corp welcomed the decision, which it said was in line with the previous precedent.
The cruise industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and Carnival said last week that it planned to resume operations.
In March, officials prevented Grand Princess from docking in California for several days after a coronavirus outbreak.
Weissbergers claimed that the cruise ship allowed them to board the ship despite passengers departing the same day from a previous cruise having symptoms of COVID-19.
The couple applied for more than $ 1 million for endangering their health and causing trauma.
Congress asked for protection against lawsuits for allegedly exposing customers to coronavirus, but Christopher Robinette, a professor at Widener University Commonwealth Law School, said the case was a long shot.
"It's one of those 'I was afraid to catch' cases. They's extremely difficult to win," he said.
More insurance and risk management news about the coronavirus crisis here.