Carnival Facing $528 Million Lawsuit After Concordia Disaster

by Carmen Dellutri on February 28, 2012

Naples accident attorneyThe Florida negligence lawsuit against Carnival Corp. is growing, as more Concordia passengers join the suit. It now involves 39 plaintiffs and seeks $528 million in damages, far exceeding the $15,000 that Carnival has offered survivors.

The lawsuit contends that the company’s gross negligence and careless disregard resulted in the shipwreck and the death of 32 passengers. The plaintiffs allege a number of egregious instances of negligence—citing that the crew failed to conduct safety drills, the captain steered the ship off course course, the captain waited too long to evacuate, and the crew was unprepared to perform the evacuation.

As detailed by Reuters, the complaint confirms media reports that passengers were forced to fend for themselves for over an hour with no communication or direction from the captain and crew, as the ship continued to take on water. Plaintiffs further claim the cruise line caused emotional distress by failing to provide proper aid to survivors.

"Plaintiffs found themselves in a listing, capsizing, sinking vessel without communication, direction or help from the captain and misdirection from the crew from approximately 9:45 p.m. to approximately 11 p.m. and were left to fend for themselves," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit further alleges that the cruise company committed fraud in claiming that it complied with safety regulations, and that the online version of the agreement passengers had to accept in order to buy tickets did not include complete details.

This argument is likely asserted to invalidate the terms of the cruise ticket. As we have mentioned on this blog, cruise tickets are considered contracts, and they significantly limit the liability of cruise ship companies.

In this case, the Costa Concordia ticket restricts the kinds of lawsuits that can be brought, where those suits can be brought, and how much the company can be made to pay. Specifically, it states that the cruise line will pay no more in cases of death, personal injury and property loss than about $71,000 per passenger. It allows no recovery for mental anguish or psychological damages and prohibits class-action suits.

This case highlights maritime law differs from the law on land. Therefore, if you are injured in a cruise ship accident, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a cruise ship accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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