Britons that were onboard the sunken Costa Concordia cruise ship have decided to file suit against cruise liner Costa Crociere Spa, operator of the ship.
The grieved passengers plan to seek damages from Italian court for physical and psychological effects caused by the grounding, including post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, nightmares and a fear of travelling, writes the BBC.
The plaintiffs include four British crew members, as well as six British ex-pats living in Spain and two other passengers from Ireland and Canada. The victims are being represented by law firm Irwin Mitchell.
The law firm said that its personal injury lawyers are now working with Italian lawyers to issue court proceedings for a dozen passengers and crew through the Italian legal system while, last year, the law firm also secured undisclosed settlements for a number of other British passengers through the UK courts against Costa Crociere Spa to include compensation for their pain and suffering and other financial losses.
“All of our clients suffered a horrendous ordeal which some may never truly overcome. The trauma they have been through has left some of them needing specialist therapy and counselling to come to terms with what happened and enable them to begin to move on with their lives,” Philip Banks from Irwin Mitchell said.
“Although nothing can turn back the clock, the settlements we have already secured will help those affected to access the treatments they need, cover their lost earnings from time they have had to have off work and replace the personal items they lost on board. It will also compensate them for pain and suffering,” he added.
According to him, it is also vital that all cruise operators learn from the information gathered from the Captain’s criminal trial as well as the many other investigations into what happened so that the risk of any similar accidents being repeated is reduced.
Sentencing of Costa Concordia’s Captain
The decision to pursue compensation damages comes in the wake of ruling against Concordia’s captain Francesco Schettino, who was sentenced to 16 years of prison.
The Grosseto-based court reached the verdict on Wednesday convicting Schettino for multiple manslaughter, causing of shipwreck and abandoning ship while his passengers and crew were still onboard.
Civil suits for damages from Costa Crociere Spa keep piling up, as was shown after Schettino’s sentencing, when Italian judge Giovanni Puliatti read out all the names, of the survivors and dead, who have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars each.
Cdn Costa had already paid USD 15,700 to survivors who didn’t take their claims to court.
Thrity-two people died in the grounding of the cruise ship in January 2012, which was carrying 4,252 people on board at the time.
The grounding is believed to had been caused by the captain’s recklessness, as the ship came too close to the Giglio island where it got stuck and later collapsed.
World Maritime News Staff