Our Cruise line injury lawyers are deeply saddened to learn, that at least three passengers aboard the Costa Concordia were killed, when the ship carrying over 4,200 passengers and crew, on a week-long cruise apparently ran aground. The ship is part of the Costa Cruise Company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines. As such Florida may be the appropriate venue for victims to file claims even though the disaster occurred in Italy.
Underwater rescue divers are searching cabins for up to 41 passengers that are still missing in a scene that looks like the movie, “Titanic.”
The Italian Coast Guard is concerned about the environmental impact of the disaster. So far, no oil had leaked out of the ship. According to the New York Times, the Italian Coast Guard is optimistic that the ship is not going to slide further down.
How this cruise ship accident happened and why; is of particular concern for me as a Florida lawyer who sues cruise lines. There is some indication that the cruise ship was off course and in shallow water filled with reefs when an electrical failure may have sent the boat out of control. Passengers were apparently told that there was nothing was wrong — until suddenly the ship began to list over. The crew’s reaction to this emergency appears to be cruise line operational negligence. Cruiselines have a legal obligation to provide a safe evacuation plan in case of disaster.
The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, and the first officer were arrested and charged with manslaughter for failure to render assistance and for abandoning ship. Shortly before being arrested Captain Schettino told Italian television that his ship had hit an unmarked reef.
Our Miami cruise-ship accident law firm believes that this was an avoidable tragedy. There is no excuse with modern maritime technology to hit a “hidden reef” or “submerged rock.” We want to express our condolences to those that lost loved ones aboard the Costa Concordia.