New York and Italian Law Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recovery for Damages for Passengers on the Costa Concordia

On Friday, January 13, 2012, the  $450 million Italian  Costa Concordia cruise ship slammed into a reef off the tiny Italian island of Giglio. Initial reports in Italy have alleged that the Capitan (Francesco Schettino) made an made an unauthorized detour on the ship’s previously authorized route as a favor to one of the Costa Concordia’s employees. Further allegations of gross negligence on the part of both the captain and the cruise company (Costa Cruises) and its parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. (NYSE: CCL, LSE: CCL, and NYSE: CUK) have also been made.

As a result of this Italian maritime disaster, 11 people have been confirmed dead and more than 20 remain missing. As a consequence of the mismanagement, disorganization and lack of emergency preparation on the part of the cruise company (Costa), the passenger disembarkation was total chaos. Few lifeboats were properly utilized, forcing many passengers to jump off the ship and swim to safety. Further, it appeared to many of the passengers that the crew members were ill prepared and untrained.

This type of maritime disaster is a classic case of gross negligence by the cruise liner. Under Italian maritime law and civil law, the Costa Cruise company owed a legal duty to each of passengers to provide for their safety in the event of an accident. The actions and inactions of the Costa cruise company and employees will be investigated in the coming months by the Prosecutor. Costa Concordia Passengers will likely have legal claims against the Costa Cruise company for the loss of services, damages for the ruined holiday, loss of property, recovery of the personal injuries and mental and emotional trauma they suffered as a result of this travesty.

If you or some you know was involved in this Italian cruise catastrophe and is seeking to make a claim for the recovery of your losses, it is important you seek Italian legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid  preservation of evidence and the statute of limitations issues.  The Italian legal system provides two methods for injured passengers to file a complaint. Under Italian law, each injured Costa Concordia cruise ship passenger may file a criminal complaint, a civil complaint or both.

The US –Italian law firm of Marzano Lawyers PLLC has offices in both New York and Italy and is well prepared to aggressively represent Italian and American passengers recently injured on the Italian  Costa Concordia  Cruise. Lawyers in the Italian US firm remain available for any inquiries regarding your legal rights in the wake of this disaster.

The law firm of Marzano Lawyers PLLC has attorneys and lawyers licensed in Italy, New York, Connecticut and US Federal Courts.

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