On the heels of this morning’s offer to surviving non-injured passengers of the Costa Concorda grounding, this just in from Bloomberg Business Week tells of a crew member off Costa Concordia who has filed a complaint in the federal court of Chicago seeking class-action status in a $100 million lawsuit.
“Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise-line owner, was sued for at least $100 million over the wreck of the Costa Concordia near Italy’s coast, which killed at least 16 people and left the vessel half submerged on its side.
The complaint, alleging negligence and breach of contract, was filed yesterday in federal court in Chicago by Gary Lobaton, a member of the Costa Concordia crew who seeks class-action status to represent all victims of the Jan. 13 disaster off Giglio Island. Captain Francesco Schettino has been accused of causing the accident by steering too close to shore and then abandoning ship as it sank.
“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,” Lobaton said in the complaint. The passengers and crew “were abandoned by the captain.”
The Costa Concordia, carrying about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew for a Mediterranean cruise, ran aground after it struck submerged rocks near the island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Survivors, some of whom had to swim to shore, spoke of panic as the six-year-old ship began listing. There are still 16 people missing, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit, which also names Miami-based Carnival’s Costa Crociere unit in Italy, seeks damages for alleged violation of the Athens Convention for safely carrying passengers at sea, breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.”
Some terminology to be familiar with for those of us who are not qualified legal sources:
The Athens Passenger Convention is an international treaty which establishes a regime of liability for damage suffered by passengers carried on a seagoing vessel. The convention was entered into force in 1987. the Athens Convention consolidated the two earlier Brussels conventions dealing with passengers and luggage and adopted in 1961 and 1967 respectively. The Convention declares a carrier liable for damage or loss suffered by a passenger if the incident causing the damage occurred in the course of the carriage and was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier. However, a carrier can limit his/her liability unless the carrier acted with intent to cause such damage, or recklessly and with knowledge that such damage would probably result. , this limit of liability is set at 46,666 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (about US$61,000) per carriage. The 2002 Protocol raised the limit of liability or Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for the death of, or personal injury to, a passenger. Whereas in the case of loss of or damage to luggage, the carrier’s limit of liability varies, depending on whether the loss or damage occurred in respect of cabin luggage, of a vehicle and/or luggage carried in or on it, or in respect of other luggage.
- Cruise line makes offer to non-injured passengers from Costa Concordia, reports say (chriscruises.net)
- Costa Concordia: What’s next? (examiner.com)
- Costa Concordia dilemma: Salvage, cut, or sink? (mnn.com)
- Wrecked cruise ship passengers offered $14,460 (overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com)