Another passenger from the grounded Costa Concordia cruise ship has filed a lawsuit; this time, over a miscarriage she suffered after the accident.
The woman, identified as Cristina M., was four months pregnant on January 13 when she boarded the Costa Condordia, said The Herald Sun. The Costa Concordia struck a rock off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio on Friday that night. The collision tore a 160-foot hole in the hull of the ship, and caused the vessel to capsize.
The ship was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew when it crashed. To date, 17 bodies have been recovered and, at least 16 people, including a five-year-old Italian girl, her father, and two Americans, are missing and presumed dead. Rescue efforts were called off last week after officials deemed the wreckage too dangerous for divers.
Cristina M. (30), who is suing the ship’s owners for one million euros ($1.2 million) in damages, according to Italian media, escaped the Costa Concordia in a lifeboat and was admitted last week to the hospital, suffering from a miscarriage, said The Herald Sun. According to her physicians, Cristina M. likely suffered the miscarriage over intense psychological stress resulting from the Costa Concordia crash and evacuation and her lifeboat crashing into rocks as she was being brought to shore.
Christina M’s case is being included in a class action against Costa Crociere; her lawyers are also seeking damages for the miscarriage. Although Costa Crociere and survivor advocacy groups have come to an agreement in which about 3,000 survivors will receive 11,000 euros ($13,500) each as well as cruise costs and expenses, other legal claims have been made against the vessels’ parent companies. The Costa Concordia is owned by Costa Crociere SpA, a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp.
In the U.S., six passengers are suing Carnival Cruise Lines for $460 million; in France, numerous passengers rejected the $13,500 deal and have filed legal complaints in courts in France; in Germany, 19 people have filed criminal charges against Francesco Schettino, the ship’s captain, said The Herald Sun.
We recently wrote that, last month, a Costa Concordia crewmember filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against Costa and Carnival in federal court in Chicago. Among other things, the complaint alleges the defendants failed to carry out safety drills to prepare passengers for an accident and didn’t notify them of the danger to the ship after water began flooding the engine room. The Italian consumer group, Codacons, has also stated its intent to file a lawsuit in Miami seeking between $164,000 and $1.3 million per Concordia passenger.
We also recently wrote that a Telegraph report said that people on Giglio are threatening Costa and Carnival with their own lawsuit. The island relies heavily on tourism, and locals fear the site of the capsized Concordia and threats posed by a potential rupture of its fuel tanks could deter divers, snorkelers and other tourists from making trips to the Island. “With this watery grave in the middle of the sea, people won’t want to come…. I have long-standing customers who are writing to me to cancel their bookings,” one Giglio hotel owner told the Telegraph.
And, an island spokesperson told an Italian newspaper that officials there have warned Costa Cruises and Carnival that they must remove the downed ship quickly, without polluting the sea, otherwise they will file their own class action complaint. Salvage experts say it could take up to 10 months to siphon fuel from the Concordia and remove the massive ship.