Costa Concordia Victims ‘Astonished’ At Cruise Company For Delaying Legal Case

Specialist Travel Lawyers Irwin Mitchell Urge Cruise Operator To Resolve Cases As Soon As Possible

05.10.2015

Passengers and crew who suffered physical and psychological injuries when the Costa Concordia capsized have criticised the cruise ship’s operator as it continues to deny liability for what happened.

Following a recent court hearing in Genoa, Italy, cruise company Costa Crociere Spa’s lawyers denied liability including:

  • allowing the crew  to perform the manoeuvre which led to the shipwreck;
  • the insufficient training of the crew and lack of information given to passengers in managing the emergency;
  • the lack of intervention of Captain Schettino and other crew members during the abandoning of ship and on the Isle of Giglio.

Francesco Schettino, former Captain of the Costa Concordia, was found guilty in February this year of multiple manslaughter charges, causing an environmental disaster and abandoning ship on the night of the disaster that claimed 32 lives. Schettino was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

The legal battle for justice continues for passengers and crew who suffered physical injury and psychological symptoms.

Expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are working with Italian colleagues to pursue the cases of a dozen passengers and crew through the Italian legal system.

Last year, the law firm also secured undisclosed settlements for a number of other British passengers after court proceedings were issued in in England against cruise operator Costa Crociere Spa.

Expert Opinion
“We are surprised and bitterly disappointed for all of our clients that Costa Crociere Spa has still not admitted liability for the disaster that happened over three years ago.

“The cruise operator has stated that it was not responsible for the Captain and his actions even though he was their employee. This is an unacceptable position to take and this is an incident which quite simply should never have happened.”

“We do not believe that the cruise operator is facing up to its responsibilities and its actions in continuing to deny liability will only delay further the resolution of our clients’ legal claims.

“The incident is still firmly in the minds of victims who are trying to fully come to terms with their injuries. The victims of the Costa Concordia disaster have suffered enough over the past few years and the impact of the legal proceedings upon their lives should be kept to a minimum.

“We urge the Costa cruise line to work with us and our Italian colleagues to try and resolve our clients’ cases and ensure that justice is done as soon as possible.”
Philip Banks, Partner

More than 4,000 passengers and crew were on board the Costa Concordia ship when it hit a rock near the island of Giglio, an island off Italy’s western coast. The impact ripped a hole in the hull and 32 people died as the ship capsized.

Andrea Davis from Alberta in Canada was on board the Costa Concordia to celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday.

She said: “This trip was meant to be an exciting and memorable journey for the two of us to celebrate Lawrence’s birthday, but instead it ended in disaster as we feared for our lives as we had to abandon ship – it was utter chaos.

“I am astonished and overwhelmed with sheer disbelief that the cruise operator has denied liability for what happened, especially after the Captain was found guilty earlier this year. How much longer can they continue to traumatise the survivors and add salt to our wounds?

“I hope that my legal team at Irwin Mitchell and their Italian colleagues are able to work with Costa Crociere Spa so that everyone affected by the disaster can finally move forward with their lives.”

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