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cruise ship passengers
costa concordia
class action lawsuits
psychological trauma
Cruise Ship Passengers Are Offered Settlement, Passenger Bodies Still Being Recovered
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Cruise Ship Passengers Are Offered Settlement, Passenger Bodies Still Being Recovered

The passengers who endured the nightmare aboard the Costa Concordia, ran aground on January 13th are all being offered a sum of money totaling $14,460. That money, according to the Carnival group, based in Miami, Florida, is meant to compensate them for the loss of their baggage and personal effects as well as their psychological trauma from the event. Carnival is also going to be refunding the full purchase price of the cruise itself and return travel expenses. Each passenger will also be reimbursed for their medical expenses as well.

That agreement was announced on Friday following a series of negotiations between the Costa representatives and reps from several Italian based consumer groups. So far, those groups are representing some 3200 people from sixty one countries, none of whom are reporting any physical harm caused by the ship's crash and subsequent capsizing.

Codacons, which is one of the best known consumer groups in Italy has announced that two different US based law firms have been retained to work on class action lawsuits against both Cost and the Carnival Group. Reps from the consumer group have suggested that they expect to see payouts of between $164,000 to over a million dollars for each passenger that participates. Meanwhile, a German attorney, Hans Reinhardt, has been retained by fifteen Germans that were aboard the ship and will be talking to several others, including those who have lost a loved one during the chaotic disaster. Reinhardt is strongly advising his clients not to take the settlement.

Roberto Corbella, who is representing Costa, has said that the offer is meant to give a quicker resolution without any of the problems that a long, drawn out court case might entail. It will also eliminate the need for legal fees. Corbella, acknowledged that the initial settlement seems quite low but in reality it should total just under twenty thousand dollars once everything else is added in.

Those who are interested in pursuing a lawsuit might be cautioned that it might be difficult because of the way the laws are set up. The ticket that they were issued included a special clause, the choice of forum clause. That would prevent any of the lawsuits from being filed anywhere but Italy. In addition to the passengers, one crew member has already filed his own lawsuit.

The search for more bodies was scheduled to continue at the scene of the crash. So far, just over a dozen bodies have been found while sixteen people are still unaccounted for.


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