Pre-trial hearings regarding the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy are well underway, but the hearings are bitter sweet for passengers and loved ones of the deceased. While maritime lawyers work toward getting the victims compensation for their injuries or losses, the captain of the Concordia, Francesco Schettino, contends he did nothing wrong. Although he has admitted to making some mistakes on the day of the cruise accident, he has moved to sue Costa Cruises for wrongful termination after being fired following the incident.
However, not very many people are siding with the captain; certainly none of the families of the 32 people who were killed when the Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized off the coast of Italy on Jan. 13 disagrees. The court went on to hear what evidence on the vessel’s “black box” data held and is trying to reconstruct the cruise ship accident to see if Schettino, who has been accused of manslaughter and abandoning ship, should face a full trial. If so, it could be a year before he returns to court and even longer for victims to obtain justice for their pain and suffering.
The Concordia, a luxury cruise ship that is part of Carnival Corp.’s fleet, crashed near the Tuscan island of Giglio after the Captain maneuvered the vessel close to shore in a move known as a “salute.” In doing so, the vessel struck a rock, which tore a gash in its hull and caused it to capsize soon afterwards. At least 30 people lost their lives in the cruise accident and many passengers have reported that crewmembers had no idea what they were doing. They claim the evacuation procedure was disorganized and chaotic, with crewmembers unable to efficiently communicate during emergency procedures.
While the majority of the focus has been placed on Schettino’s wrongdoings, it is also important to examine what the cruise line itself did wrong that may have contributed to the cruise tragedy. The lack of training for crewmembers regarding emergency protocol may be used against the cruise line and surviving passengers, as well as the loved ones of those who were killed, may file a negligence claim against Costa Cruises and Carnival Corp. Cruise lines are responsible for maintaining the safety of all whom are onboard and when that safety is compromised, the cruise ship company may be held liable for any injuries or deaths. In addition to the captain, eight other crewmembers and ship’s owner are under investigation for their roles in the accident. For additional information on the Costa Concordia disaster and hearings, visit our Lipcon law firm blog.
If you or someone you know was onboard the Costa Concordia when it capsized or if you were involved in an accident onboard another cruise ship, turn to our attorneys today for information on filing your own cruise injury case. Our law firm will help you and your loved ones receive the damages you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Call Lipcon cruise ship injury lawyers today to discuss your options and get started on your case right away.
Published on October 19, 2012
Categories: Cruise Ship Law