A crew member of the wrecked Costa Concordia is crying out for a mutiny.
Gary Lobaton—who worked on the Carnival Corp.-owned Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, which capsized on Jan. 13 after the captain allegedly steered the ship too close to shore—filed a complaint against Carnival yesterday in federal court in Chicago. He claims the cruise line owner is guilty of negligence and breach of contract, and he seeks class action status to represent all victims of the disaster.
About 4,200 people were onboard the Costa Concordia when it ran aground after striking a rock near a small Italian island. Sixteen people were killed in the wreck, and another 16 people are missing. During the past two weeks, the media have condemned Captain Francesco Schettino for abandoning the ship before everyone had disembarked. He currently is under house arrest for allegedly causing the wreck and resulting deaths.
Although Carnival’s Costa business unit has reportedly reached agreements with international consumer groups to pay about $14,460 in damages to each uninjured passenger, Lobaton’s lawyer says the amount being offered is “a joke” and that survivors of the wreck “have been damaged for life.” Additionally, the proposed deal does not apply to crew members or injured passengers.
In the days following the accident, some legal experts questioned whether passengers would be able to sue the cruise line in the U.S. because the contracts written into the ship’s tickets state that they must bring their lawsuits in Genoa, Italy. But some lawyers say the unique circumstances of the wreck may challenge courts’ tendencies to uphold cruise ships’ contracts and allow victims to bring suit in the U.S. for minimal damages.
Read Bloomberg for more about the lawsuit against Carnival.