It’s hard to believe that almost two years have passed since the tragic Costa Concordia capsizing accident. Around this time two years ago, one captain reportedly made an unapproved call to change the Concordia’s itinerary at the last minute in order to “show off” his skills and the ship. The vessel was approaching the coast of Giglio, Italy and the captain, Francesco Schettino, wanted to perform a maneuver called a “salute”, which would bring the ship very close to shore – too close. In the attempt, the Concordia struck a giant underwater rock, which tore the vessel’s hull and caused water to begin cascading in.
An emergency evacuation was called, but there was more of a panic and frenzy among crew members than among the frightened passengers themselves. Those who survived recounted a nightmarish experience, with crews struggling to communicate and to execute a comprehensive, successful escape plan.
In the end, 32 victims lost their lives because of the actions of one man – Francesco Schettino. But he wasn’t the only one responsible. Several other Concordia crew members were arrested, charged and found guilty of manslaughter, but managed to evade the law after their sentences were suspended. We have yet to learn the captain’s fate, but since everyone else, including the cruise line, has avoided persecution, it seems the full brunt of the blame will fall on his hands.
Justice has been an elusive concept for both surviving victims and the loved ones of those who perished in the tragic accident, but it seems that maybe one man’s conscience has finally gotten the best of him. According to a Carnival Corp. press release, Costa Cruises’ former CEO is retiring.
Is it out of guilt? Does he just not want to be a part of the cruise industry? Or, does he just want to enjoy his retirement, take his money and run? We may not know what his exact reasons are for retiring, but what we do know is that Pier Luigi Foschi was CEO when the Concordia crashed and that the 67-year-old has chosen to retire on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the crash after 16 years with the company.
Foschi actually retired from Costa Cruises as CEO six months after the Concordia accident, but Carnival Corp. later named him as head of its business in Asia. The latest retirement is shrouded in mystery – much like all other Carnival dealings – but according to the world’s largest cruise company, Foschi stopped working in November and retired this past Monday. The worst part is that he’s actually getting a separation agreement settlement worth a whopping 1.25 million Euros ($1.7 million)! That’s way more than the victims of the tragedy will ever hope to obtain following the very critical and reckless mistakes made by the cruise line.
Even Carnival’s Micky Arison decided to comment on the matter, saying Foschi’s time with the company helped to transform it. Transform it into what? An accident-prone disaster? An apathetic industry that refuses to compensate the victims of its indiscretions?
It’s a shame that with the billions of dollars Carnival Corp. earns, two years later, our law firm is still fighting for the rights of the Concordia victims. All the while, the CEOs, CFOs, and anyone else with a top rank at Carnival continues to make the big bucks. So much for justice.