Update 4/10/13: Costa is Fined $1.3 Million for Concordia Shipwreck

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.

Costa ConcordiaUpdate 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 immediatelyMitchell 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.


News in English (sorted by date)

News in Italian (Notizie in italiano)

News in Spanish (Noticias en español)

News in German (Informationen in deutscher Sprache)

News in French (Nouvelles en français)

News in Slovenian (Novice v slovenskem jeziku)