Maritime Law

Maritime Law: 11th Circuit Keeps Costa Concordia Lawsuits in Miami-Dade Circuit Court

After Carnival’s cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy, two separate actions were filed by groups of 56 and 48 plaintiffs in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida (our Miami state court).

Carnival removed both actions to the federal district court, claiming that the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction under the mass-action provision of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), Pub. L. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4. The Plaintiffs moved for remand to the state court on the ground that the district court lacked jurisdiction and the district court granted the motion.

Maritime Law: 11th Circuit Keeps Costa Concordia Lawsuits in Miami-Dade Circuit Court Maritime Executive

Momentous Victory for Cruise Victims

Cruise victims have won another victory against Carnival Corporation when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit remanded claims to the Florida State Court for continued litigation.

The July 1, 2013 order affirmed the District Court’s prior remand order, concerning two cases, Abeid-Saba, et al., v. Carnival Corporation et al., (Docket No.: 12-CV-23513) and Scimone, et al. v. Carnival Corp. et al. (“Scimone II”), (Docket No.: 12-CV-23505). Both cases arise from plaintiffs’ claims that they were injured when the Costa Concordia capsized after grounding off the Italian coast.

Momentous Victory for Cruise Victims Wall Street Journal

Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino facing criminal trial

It took a long while to determine but at last there has been a decision on whether to send Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino to trial. A judge in Grosetto, Italy ruled this week that prosecutors can go ahead with the charges. Schettino was the captain of the ship on the Jan. 13, 2012 when it hit a reef and ran aground some 300 metres from the Italian island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay. There were more than 4,200 passengers and crew onboard the 114,500 tonnes ship, of which 32 died when the ship listed over. Sixty-five percent of the cruise liner is underwater still.

Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino facing criminal trial Digital Journal
Costa Concordia Shipwreck Like You’ve Never Seen … gCaptain

Costa Concordia victims have jurisdiction victory in Florida

Breaking Travel News (press release)
Survivors of the Costa Concordia grounding off the Tuscan coast of Italy in January 2012 won a huge victory in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida last week, when the District Judge ordered the claims of 104 survivors 
Survivors of the Costa Concordia grounding off the Tuscan coast of Italy in January 2012 won a huge victory in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida last week, when the District Judge ordered the claims of 104 survivors remanded to the Florida State Court for continued litigation. The court’s February 15, 2013 order concerned two cases, Denise Abeid-Saba, et al., v. Carnival Corporation et al., and Scimone v. Carnival Corp., together representing the claims of 104 plaintiffs injured when the huge ship capsized after grounding on rocks just off the shore of Isola del Giglio.

Both cases were initially commenced in the Florida State Court against Carnival Corp. as the parent corporation as well as ship designers and the architect. The cases were removed to the Federal Court by the defendants under the CLASS ACTION FAIRNESS ACT OF 2005 (“CAFA”), which allows for the removal of so-called “mass actions” to the federal courts. As the District Court noted, however, the CAFA expressly excludes those cases that are consolidated by a defense motion to achieve the CAFA minimum of 100 plaintiffs. Since neither the Abeid-Saba action nor the Scimone action contained 100 plaintiffs, the Court held that neither was amenable to removal under CAFA. Defendants also plead “federal question” jurisdiction as a second basis for removal; the District Court rejected this argument as well, holding that the interests in the litigation of the Italian government, which took no position in the litigation and neither owned nor operated the doomed vessel, were “speculative at best.” A copy of the decision can be obtained by contacting the law firms.
Costa Concordia victims have jurisdiction victory in Florida Breaking Travel News