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Carnival Corp. Faces More Legal Fallout from Concordia Disaster

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Costa Concordia lawsuits are amassing following the January 13 crash that left at least 17 people dead and the luxury liner grounded off the Tuscan coast.

Rescue efforts have been halted over dangerous conditions inside the ship, while at least 16 people remain missing and are now presumed dead. Among them are a five-year-old girl from Italy and her father, said The Telegraph, and a couple from the United States.

Lawsuits are being filed and more are expected. For instance, NewsInferno recently wrote that the Italian consumer group, Codacons, was signing Concordia passengers for a class action lawsuit it planned to file. Now, said Bloomberg Businessweek, Carnival Cruise lines has been sued in a complaint that named six plaintiffs—four Americans and two Italians that was filed in Miami state court. Miami-based Carnival and Hollywood-based Costa Cruise Line are named as defendants.

Costa Concordia crew member Gary Lobaton, filed a complaint last week in federal court in Chicago saying in the complaint, “The defendants failed to properly and timely notify all plaintiffs on board of the deadly and dangerous condition of the cruise ship as to avoid injury and death.’ Passengers and crew “were abandoned by the captain,” he added.

According to the state complaint, plaintiffs were “in terror of catastrophic injury, death, drowning, having been placed in a situation where common sense said the vessel was sinking but the orders from the crew were to return to their cabins.”

Plaintiffs seek $460 million (£292 million) in damages and compensation and rejected the original offer as “insulting,” said The Telegraph.

Last week,Costa did offer T14,460 (11,000 Euros) to passengers not injured in the disaster to cover lost baggage and psychological distress,. One Italian consumer group deemed the Costa Concordia offer insufficient, and urged passengers to reject it; however, should survivors choose to accept the offer, they must agree to drop all future litigation.

The luxury liner struck a rock off the Italy’s Giglio Island, which left a 160-foot gash in the hull, causing the vessel to capsize. The ship, which is owned by Costa Crociera SpA, a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp., was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew when the accident occurred.

Moody’s Investors Service said, on January 23rd, that the accident’s insurance cost may go as high as $1 billion once environmental damage and injuries are taken into consideration, with the bulk of the losses being incurred by reinsurers, said Businessweek. Jefferies international Ltd. separately figured the total cost at $850 million. Assicurazioni Generali SpA, RSA Insurance Group Plc, and XL Group Plc were among the Costa Concordia’s insurers.

The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest and faces charges of shipwreck, manslaughter, and abandoning ship.

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