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Shipwreck Lawsuits Cruise into Miami

Two U.S. law firms are filing class-action lawsuits against Costa Cruises, asking for at least $160,000 per passenger involved in last week’s resort tort disaster, according to the BBC. The shipwreck left 11 people dead, hundreds injured, and 21 still missing.

Owned by Miami-based Carnival Group, Costa Cruises blamed the captain of the Costa Concordia for veering off course and crashing into a rock, causing the ship to half sink. The captain has denied the charges of suspected manslaughter, for which he remains under house arrest.

A civil claim is being filed against him in Italy while lawsuits will reportedly be filed in Miami this week against Costa Cruises, with claimants seeking compensation for “continued medical care, loss of earnings as well as the psychological impact they had suffered while trying to get off the ship,” reports the BBC. Liability against the company will point to regular route deviations in the past, lack of safeguards on board, and the alarm system.
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More than 100 claimants are expected to seek two to three times the minimum claim and some as much as one million Euros.

Costa Cruises is currently focused on managing the immediate urgencies of the disaster but a spokesperson stated that the company has asked passengers to detail their expenses so that they can be reimbursed. Rescue efforts for the missing continue with caution as the ship continues to sink. Fuel tanks are full and could potentially rupture, contaminating the Mediterranean Sea and shorelines.