Costa Concordia Owners Expected to Face Lawsuit in Cruise Ship Disaster
Costa Cruises, owner of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship, may face a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of victims who were injured when the vessel ran aground off the coast of Italy earlier this month.
According to the BBC, the Italian consumer group Codacons is reportedly joining forces with two U.S. law firms to file the class action suit, seeking approximately $160,000 in damages for each passenger. The lawsuit is expected to be filed in a Miami court sometime this week with an estimated 110 passengers seeking claims so far.
Costa Cruises, which is owned by the U.S.-based Carnival Group, is blaming the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino for the disaster which has left at least 11 people dead and another 21 unaccounted for. They claim that the captain was acting with gross negligence when the ship ran aground just off the Italian coast near Giglio on January 13 with approximately 4,200 people aboard. Costa says that Schettino acted irresponsibly in steering the vessel so close to shore and it has also been reported that he may have delayed in giving the order to abandon ship.
Schettino is currently under house arrest on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. First officer Ciro Ambrosio is facing similar charges and investigators are continuing to question witnesses who were with the captain when the accident occurred.
It it is unclear what the outcome of the U.S. lawsuit will be. Costa passengers reportedly were required to sign a contract when buying their cruise tickets agreeing that any litigation would have to be pursued under Italian law but attorneys for the plaintiffs seem confident the case will be allowed to proceed. According to The Huffington Post, the total cost of the cruise ship disaster, including settlement and legal fees, could exceed $500 million.
While most cruise ship passengers set sail with their thoughts on relaxation and fun, the Costa Concordia disaster demonstrates how quickly a vacation can become a nightmare. Hopefully, each of the victims who were affected will consult an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the extent of their rights.
The law firm of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing cruise ship passengers who were injured aboard vessels departing from California and other ports throughout the country. If you or a loved one was injured in a shipboard accident, we can assist you in filing your injury claim.
Call us today at 1-800-722-0765 to begin your no-cost, no-obligation initial case evaluation. Typically, you only have a limited amount of time to file a cruise ship liability claim so it’s important that you contact us as quickly as possible if you’ve been injured. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning there is never a fee unless we recover a judgment on your behalf and we are committed to helping you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your cruise ship injury.