Costa Cruises, the company whose Concordia cruise liner capsized in January last year with the loss of 32 lives, has made a deal with an Italian court that will limit its criminal liability for a fine of just €1 million. The plea bargain payment, which curtails the cruise operator’s criminal culpability for the disaster, is a set tariff. It means Costa Cruises will not face any more criminal charges and will now aim to participate in the forthcoming trial as an injured party.
The disaster that was the Costa Concordia, which sank on Jan. 13, 2012 with the death of 32, continues to make news. Today, the Costa Crociere, a division of Miami-based Costa Carnival, owners of the ship, reached an out-of-court settlement.Costa Crociere will pay a $1.3 million fine and thus evade going to court over the tragedy. Had their been a court case it would have been lengthy and costly and may have opened them up to further lawsuits, that though the company maintains fault for the disaster lies only with the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino.
Carnival Corp. says all maritime interests must assist without question those in trouble at sea, a duty that would not include reimbursing the U.S. government nearly $780,000 for costs associated with the rescue of the crippled Triumph cruise ship. Carnival released letters Friday replying to an inquiry by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, about the Triumph stranding and the cruise line’s overall safety record. Among Rockefeller’s questions was whether Carnival would repay the government for Coast Guard costs in the Triumph case as well as $3.4 million to the Coast Guard and Navy from the 2010 stranding of the Carnival Splendor in the Pacific Ocean.