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The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami on Wednesday ordered the decertification of a class action lawsuit filed against Norwegian Cruise Line by a group of passengers. The passengers sued the cruise line in 1998 for negligence after more than 300 of them, along with 50 crew members, became ill while on board the Royal Odyssey in March 1997. Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found that they had contracted a virus from contaminated water. Passengers suffered from vomiting and diarrhea during their 10-day cruise. After the ship docked, the CDC ordered the ship to stay in port. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Norman Gerstein granted the passengers’ request for class certification. But the appellate court ruled that class certification was improper because of “insufficient commonality” and sent the case back to Gerstein with instructions to enter its order decertifying the class. William Julien, an associate with Grossman & Goldman in Boca Raton, Fla., who represented the passengers, said the ruling is in direct conflict with a 4th DCA opinion that granted class certification to a lawsuit filed by patrons of a restaurant who became ill after eating there. “This is the exact type of case where a class certification makes sense. Everybody got sick with the exact same symptoms,” said Julien, who added that he may appeal. Attorneys for Norwegian Cruise Line did not return phone calls before deadline.

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