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More Costa Concordia passengers sue Carnival

Lawsuit asks for at least $528 million in damages

A group of plaintiffs gave Carnival Corp. a spiteful Valentine.

Yesterday, 33 more passengers who survived the Costa Concordia shipwreck in January joined a lawsuit that six other passengers previously filed in Miami. The amended lawsuit accuses the cruise ship owner of gross negligence and fraud, and seeks at least $528 million in damages.

On Jan. 13, the Carnival-owned Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia struck a rock when the captain allegedly steered too close to shore. After a bungled evacuation effort, 17 of the ship’s 4,200 passengers were killed, and another 15 are still missing, bringing the presumed death toll to 32. Yesterday’s amended lawsuit claims Carnival committed fraud by saying it complied with safety regulations.

“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 suit also claims passengers who purchased their tickets online didn’t see the full details of the ticket agreement, which includes a requirement that claims against the company must be pursued in Genoa, Italy. Experts say U.S. courts have traditionally upheld such clauses, which means plaintiffs can’t sue the cruise line in the U.S.

Read more about the Costa Concordia litigation in the April issue of InsideCounsel.

Ashley Post

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