Joseph Thomas Gavigan Jr Cruise Ship Passengers Dies From Norovirus Aboard Celebrity Solstice - February 5, 2011
Joseph Thomas Gavigan Jr
Cruise Ship Passengers Dies From Norovirus
Celebrity Solstice - February 5, 2011
Joseph Thomas Gavigan Jr, 80, of Orleans, Massachusetts was sailing aboard Celebrity Cruises' cruise ship Solstice when he contracted Norovirus, along with over 100 other passengers and crew.

Gavigan embarked from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday, January 30, 2011 around 1630 hours. The cruise ship called at San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Maarten before returning to Ft. Lauderdale on February 6, 2011.

During the cruise  118 of 2,839 (4.16%) passengers and 10 of 1,227 (0.819%) crew became ill with symptoms typical of Norovirus including diarrhea and vomiting.

On February 2, Mr. Gavigan went to the ship's medical team for treatment of his symptoms. His children allege that the prior voyage aboard Solstice also had norovirus cases but passengers were not warned before they boarded on the subsequent cruise. The CDC has no record of a reportable outbreak for prior cruises, though an outbreak amounting to less than 3% of the passengers would not be a required reporting to the CDC.

However, during the voyage that embarked on January 16, 2011, passengers did report a Norovirus outbreak. On January 20, 2011, passenger Michael Connelly  became ill while aboard the Solstice, was treated aboard Solstice which he says did nothing to make him better. He too says the medical treatment aboard Solstice was inadequate, resulting in medical malpractice.  Connelly was then hospitalization for several days at Broward General Hospital after he returned home on January 23, 2011.

Since Gavigan didn't board until January 30, at least three cruises had cases of Norovirus, the January 16, 23 and 30 voyages.

The children further state that the ship was not properly sanitized and that passengers and crew who were sick were not quarantined to their cabins to prevent the spread of Norovirus among more passengers.

The children further stated that an investigation discovered that the medical care their father received was not appropriate for the illness he was suffering from and that the shipboard doctor who treated their father had a  poor history of treating passengers and crew members aboard the vessel, a fact the cruise line was aware of.  As a result of medical malpractice, their father died at sea.

Born and raised in Canton, Massachusetts, Gavigan had been owner of Gavigan Equipment in Middleboro, Massachusetts. He had resided in Orleans for the prior 35 years.

He is survived by his eight children, Michael Gavigan,  Ginny Friedman, Nancy Walsh, Jay Gavigan, Sarah Leahy, Tracy Gavigan, Eva Jenkins and John Gavigan.