The article below was originally published on April 10, 2013 in Time Magazine‘s online edition as “Judge Fines Costa $1.3M for Concordia Wreck.” Time lists the Associated Press as the article’s author.
(ROME) — A judge in Tuscany fined Italian cruise line Costa Crociere SpA 1 million euros ($1.3 million) Wednesday for the 2012 shipwreck of the Concordia cruise ship that killed 32 people.
Costa had asked for a plea bargain deal to respond to the administrative sanctions, which under Italian law are for companies whose employees commit crimes. Judge Valeria Montesarchio of the Grosseto tribunal accepted the plea after a hearing.
Costa, a division of Miami-based Carnival Corp., has sought to blame the disaster entirely on Capt. Francesco Schettino, who took the cruise ship off course and rammed it into a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 13, 2012. The stunt left a 70-meter (230-foot) long gash in the hull, causing the liner to take on water and capsize.
Grosseto prosecutors are seeking indictments for Schettino and five other people on charges including manslaughter. A preliminary, closed-door hearing is scheduled for Monday but it’s not clear if the judge will make a decision then on whether to order a trial. Among the five are the helmsman, two other officials who were on the bridge during the grounding and the Costa official on land who was managing the crisis.
Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before all the passengers had been evacuated. Passengers have recounted a harrowing evacuation; by the time the captain ordered passengers to evacuate, the ship was listing so far to one side that many lifeboats couldn’t be lowered.
Schettino has depicted himself as a hero, claiming it was his deft steering after the collision that allowed the ship to move closer to the port and helped to save lives. He also maintained the reef was not marked on the ship’s navigational charts.
Sailors in the area, however, say the reef is a well-known tourist attraction in the pristine waters off Giglio.
The ship, meanwhile, remains on its side in Giglio’s port; efforts to right it and tow it away are under way.
Update 2/14/2012: The law firm of Proner & Proner is highly experienced in filing both class-action and individual claims, having recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients in both types of litigation. After evaluating the legal issues surrounding a class action in this particular case, we feel that filing a class-action on behalf of victims of the Costa Concordia cruise ship accident is not in their best interests at this point. Instead, we have filed individual actions collectively out of the belief that approaching this case as a mass tort rather than a class action will result in the greatest likelihood of our clients receiving the most significant economic recovery possible.
Moment by moment, we are analyzing all of the variables that impact on this case, and as of now, we remain unconvinced that bringing a class action is the proper strategy to take on behalf of the Costa Concordia victims we are representing from all over the world. Our primary goal is to see that those passengers who have suffered so greatly as a result of this needless tragedy are able to obtain the full measure of damages to which they are entitled.
If you or someone you love was on board the Costa Concordia when the shipwreck occurred, it is imperative that you contact Proner & Proner immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.
Update 2/3/2012: If you were on board the Costa Concordia when it ran aground and are interested in filing an individual claim for damages, it is important that you contact Proner & Proner immediately. Mitchell Proner has been at the forefront of Costa Concordia litigation and is in a unique position to make sure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected. Please remember that time is of the essence in maritime accident cases. You deserve to be properly compensated for your suffering, and we are here to make sure that you obtain the full measure of damages to which you are entitled.
Personal injury attorney Mitchell Proner has filed a $460 million lawsuit in the civil courts of Florida on behalf of victims of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster. As developments regarding the class-action suit unfold, this page will be updated with links to news articles and video clips from around the globe.
For further information about the Costa Concordia class-action lawsuit, please contact Proner & Proner.
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- “Divers recover 5 bodies from Italy Costa Concordia Wreck” (USA Today, Mar 26)
- “Cruise firm Carnival loses £82 million in three months” (Southern Daily Echo, Mar 12) http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9584516.Cruise_firm_Carnival_loses___82_million_in_three_months/
- “OP-ED: Cruise Lines Need a Watchdog Agency” (Huntington News, Mar 10) http://www.huntingtonnews.net/25876
- “Removing Costa cruise ship may take 1 year” (Arizona Daily Star, Mar 10) http://azstarnet.com/news/world/removing-costa-cruise-ship-may-take-year/article_fe7cae9a-cdcb-5763-942b-ba97a8f3d5e8.html
- “Greenpeace finds pollution from Italy cruise ship wreck” (Physorg.com, Mar 9) http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-greenpeace-pollution-italy-cruise-ship.html
- “Costa accused of bullying Concordia crew to accept compensation” (Travelmole, Mar 7) http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?news_id=2000630&c=setreg®ion=2
- “Costa crew facing alleged settlement pressure” (Financial Times, Mar 6)
- “Judge bars consumer, environmental groups in Italian cruise ship inquiry” (CNN.com, Mar 3) http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/03/world/europe/italy-cruise-ship/
- “Carnival faces class-action suits” (International Travel Insurance Journal, Feb 27) http://www.itij.co.uk/story/133
- “Divers find more bodies on ship” (icScotland, Feb 22) http://icscotland.icnetwork.co.uk/news/uk/tm_headline=divers-find-more-bodies-on-ship%26method=full%26objectid=30386284%26siteid=50141-name_page.html
- “Navy diver joins Concordia probe” (Stirling Observer, Feb 22) http://www.stirlingobserver.co.uk/stirling-news/scottish-news/2012/02/22/navy-diver-joins-concordia-probe-51226-30385723/
- “Traces of cocaine found on hair sample from Costa Concordia captain” (Herald Sun, Feb 20) http://www.heraldsun.com.au/travel/news/cocaine-link-in-captain-francesco-schettinos-night-of-tragedy-on-the-costa-concordia/story-fn32891l-1226275163691
- “More Victims to Join Costa Concordia Lawsuit (Proner & Proner Blog, Feb 14) http://www.prolaw1.com/more-victims-to-join-costa-73838/
- “Costa Concordia Ship Captain Ordered to Remain under House Arrest” (Proner & Proner Blog, Feb 7) http://www.prolaw1.com/costa-concordia-cruise-ship-captain-73439/
- “Costa Concordia: group of 6 cruise ship passengers seek 292 million pounds compensation” (The Telegraph, Feb 2)
- “Costa Concordia: group of 6 cruise ship passengers seek 350 Euros compensation” (Irish Independent, Feb 1) http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/costa-concordia-group-of-6-cruise-ship-passengers-seek-350-million-compensation-3006121.html
- “Captain Acted Intentionally, Not Merely Negligently” (Proner & Proner Blog, Feb 1) http://www.prolaw1.com/proner-costa-concordia-captain-acted-73214/
- “Cruise line offers no respect to survivors” (Central Florida Future; Feb 1) http://www.centralfloridafuture.com/opinion/cruise-line-offers-no-respect-to-survivors-1.2693414
- “Concordia passengers sue Costa” (Travel Blackboard, Feb 1) http://www.etravelblackboard.com/article/127977/concordia-passengers-sue-costa
- “Costa Concordia passengers sue cruise company for $460m” (Guardian; Jan 31) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/31/costa-concordia-passengers-sue-company?newsfeed=true
- “$460 Million Lawsuit Filed by Mitchell Proner” (Proner & Proner Blog, Jan 31) http://www.prolaw1.com/blog/2012/01/31/460-million-class-action-filed-on-behalf-of-costa-concordia-victims-73169
- “Costa Concordia Class Action: Mitchell Proner Interviewed on Colombian Radio” (Proner & Proner Blog, Jan 31) http://www.prolaw1.com/costa-concordia-lawsuit-mitchell-proner-73181/
- “Lawyers Jump into Cruise Ship Disaster Cases” (Insurance Journal; Jan 30) http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/01/30/233126.htm
- “Proner Meeting with Maritime Lawyers” (Proner & Proner Blog, Jan 31) http://www.prolaw1.com/proner-consulting-with-maritime-lawyers-73064/
- “In cruise ship disaster, an SOS for lawyers” (Reuters, Jan 28)
- “Class action lawsuit against Carnival: Attorney Mitchell Proner suing over Costa Concordia wreck” (video, Buffalohair Gazette International, Jan 25) http://buffalohair.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/class-action-lawsuit-against-carnival-attorney-mitchell-proner-suing-over-costa-concordia-wreck/
- “Proner to Costa Concordia Victims: We Will Fight for Fair Compensation” (Proner & Proner Blog, Jan 25) http://www.prolaw1.com/proner-to-costa-concordia-victims-72740/
- “Dead for three years: family lies about Costa Concordia relative” (smh.com.au; Jan 24)
- “Phone Interview: Attorney on possible cruise lawsuit” (video, Local 10 Miami, Jan 23)
- “Lawyer Mitchell Proner on Representing Victims of Italian Cruise Ship Disaster” (video, Daily Press) http://www.dailypress.com/videogallery/67618284/News/Lawyer-Mitchell-Proner-On-Representing-Victims-Of-Italian-Cruise-Ship-Disaster
- “Mitchell Proner to Be Interviewed on Italian Television) (Proner & Proner Blog, Jan 23) http://www.prolaw1.com/mitchell-proner-to-be-interviewed-72671-2/
- “Mitchell Proner to Lead Costa Concordia Litigation” (Proner & Proner Blog, Jan 23) http://www.prolaw1.com/mitchell-proner-leading-litigation-against-72668/
- “Costa Concordia, è ancora scontro sugli indennizzi offerti dalla compagnia” (fanpage.it, 12 luglio) http://www.fanpage.it/costa-concordia-e-ancora-scontro-sugli-indennizzi-offerti-dalla-compagnia/
- “Palermo, il conto per Costa Crociere dopo il naufragio della Concordia? 460 milioni di dollari. Il 16 e 17 marzo, l’avvocato Mitchell Proner spiegherà il perché durante un seminario” (Centonove, 7 marzo) http://settimanalecentonove.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/palermo-il-conto-per-costa-crociere-dopo-il-naufragio-della-concordia-460-milioni-di-dollari-il-16-e-17-marzo-lavvocato-mitchell-proner-spieghera-il-perche-durante-un-seminario/
- “Naufragio Concordia: sale a 8 conto dei corpi trovati oggi” (corrispondenti.net, 22 febbraio) http://www.corrispondenti.net/index.php?id=41375
- “Costa Concordia: ritrovati 4 corpi” (Il Journal, 22 febbraio) http://www.iljournal.it/2012/costa-concordia-ritrovati-4-corpi/313153
- “Costa Concordia – Il mistero della cocaina sui capelli di Schettino” http://www.ogginotizie.it/117884-costa-concordia-il-mistero-della-cocaina-sui-capelli-di-schettino/
- “Giglio: azione Usa, 39 passeggeri chiedono 528 mln di dollari” (Libero, 15 febbraio) http://www.liberoquotidiano.it/news/935772/Giglio__azione_Usa_____passeggeri_chiedono_____mln_di_dollari.html
- “Naufragio, ricorsi a raffica contro rimborso Costa” (campanianotizie.com, 13 febbraio) http://www.campanianotizie.com/cronaca/italia/15804-naufragio-concordia-aumentano-ricorsi-contro-rimborso-costa.html
- “Concordia: group action a Miami” (Il Secolo XIX, 31 gennaio) http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/p/genova/2012/01/31/APjTtCnB-concordia_group_action.shtml
- “Costa Concordia, class action Codacons a Miami, Proner: ‘In America la giustizia funziona, vinceremo’” (Genova24it, 31 gennaio) http://www.genova24.it/2012/01/costa-concordia-class-action-codacons-a-miami-proner-in-america-la-giustizia-funziona-vinceremo-27312/
- “Nave Affondata: Proner (USA), ‘Inchino’ E’ Stato Intenzionale” (AGI.it, 31 gennaio) http://www.agi.it/genova/notizie/201201311654-cro-rt10218-nave_affondata_proner_usa_inchino_e_stato_intenzionale
- “Codacons e avvocati Usa chiedono 460 mln dollari per primi 6 ricorrenti” (La Repubblica Genova, 31 gennaio) http://genova.repubblica.it/dettaglio-news/16:44/4106399
- “Concordia. Negli Usa 500 passeggeri fanno la class action” (VITA.it, 31 gennaio) http://www.vita.it/news/view/117789
- “Hallan 4 cadáveres más en crucero encallado en Italia; suman 8 (AP, 22 feb) http://noticias.terra.cl/mundo/europa/hallan-4-cadaveres-mas-en-crucero-encallado-en-italia-suman-8,5dacd003046a5310VgnVCM4000009bf154d0RCRD.html
- “Una niña, entre los cuatro cuerpos hallados en el ‘Costa Concordia’” (elpais.com, 22 feb) http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2012/02/22/actualidad/1329932034_864508.html
- “Interponen sobrevivientes del Costa Concordia demanda multimillonaria” (info7.mx, 15 feb) http://www.info7.com.mx/a/noticia/317027/normal/ultimo/24
- “Costa Concordia Class Action: Mitchell Proner Entrevistado en Radio de Colombia” (31 enero) http://www.prolaw1.com/costa-concordia-lawsuit-mitchell-proner-73181/
- “Demandas colectivas por caso Concordia se presentarán el miercoles en EEUU” (Univision 23, 1 enero) http://feeds.univision.com/feeds/article/2012-01-23/demandas-colectivas-por-caso-concordia-1?refPath=/univision23
- “Acht Leichen im ‘Costa Concordia’-Wrack entdeckt” (Welt Online, 22. Februar) http://www.welt.de/vermischtes/weltgeschehen/article13881231/Acht-Leichen-im-Costa-Concordia-Wrack-entdeckt.html
- “Überlebende von ‘Costa Concordia’: Das Geschäft mit der Katastrophe” (stern.de, 3. Februar) http://www.stern.de/panorama/ueberlebende-von-costa-concordia-das-geschaeft-mit-der-katastrophe-1781746.html
- “Wirtschaft: 160000 Dollar pro Passagier” (Suddeutsche.de, 26. Januar) http://newsticker.sueddeutsche.de/list/id/1266903
- “Huit cadavres découverts à bord de l’épave du Concordia” (rtbf.be, 22 février) http://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_des-corps-de-plusieurs-victimes-retrouves-a-bord-du-costa-concordia?id=7614693
- “Les rescapés du Costa Concordia préparent l’offensive judiciaire” (la-Croix.com, 25 janvier) http://www.la-croix.com/Actualite/S-informer/Monde/Les-rescapes-du-Costa-Concordia-preparent-l-offensive-judiciaire-_NG_-2012-01-25-761929
- “Odvetniki v imenu šestih potnikov Coste Concordie vložili tožbo v višini 460 milijonov dolarjev”(novice.Dnevnik.si, 1 februar) http://www.dnevnik.si/novice/svet/1042506684