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Shipwreck Resort Torts Surpass $500 Million

A lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit court Tuesday against Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. and its Costa subsidiary seeks $528 million in damages resulting from the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster.

The lawsuit names 39 plaintiffs who experienced the shipwreck in the Mediterranean last month in which 17 people have been confirmed dead and 15 are still missing. The damages sought include $78 million in compensatory damages and $450 in punitive damages, reports the Miami Herald.

On the same day, Costa announced that it would compensate passengers 11,000 euros plus reimbursement for cruise ticket costs and extra travel expenses. The deadline for passengers to accept the offer was extended to March 31. Costa released a statement regarding those who suffered the greatest losses:

“The families of deceased and missing victims and guests who were injured will be covered under a separate proposal based on their individual circumstances.”

There is a question as to whether the half-billion dollar lawsuit will hold in Florida, given that the cruise tickets Costa issues require legal action to be filed in Italy. The counterargument is that Carnival Corp., a Miami-based company, and Costa are the same entity. More lawsuit filings in Florida are expected for passengers aboard the fated Costa cruise ship.

Cruise ships are virtual floating cities and prime locations for resort torts. As maritime hotels, they can lack fundamental safety policies, protocols, and procedures to protect passengers from harm. They generally fly foreign flags, so they do not have to comply with United States laws. Antiquated laws and contractual language limiting passenger rights and remedies can put travelers in a precarious position and require aggressive litigation. To learn more about Resort Torts, visit Leighton Law.