If Costa Cruises had hoped for a swift settlement, then that ship may have sailed.
On Jan. 27, the company offered 11,000 euros, or roughly $14,400, in reimbursement to each of the hundreds (including children) who survived the harrowing experience that left at least 16 dead and others missing.
The specified per-passenger amount is the result of an agreement between Italian consumer advocacy groups and Costa Cruises. Although the compensation package is reportedly higher than the current indemnification limits provided for in international conventions and laws, it appears to be insufficient to at least six passengers who may be initiating a multi-million-dollar counter offer of their own.
That same day, six Costa Concordia survivors lodged a complaint in southern Florida, where parent company Carnival Cruise Lines maintains its headquarters. The plaintiffs have requested a jury trial and are allegedly seeking “economic and compensatory damages in excess of $10 million (and) punitive damages of at least $450 million,” SunSentinel.com reports. In the suit, they charge cruise ship operators with “maritime negligence” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” among other counts.
This legal action may be a precursor of what is to come. The families of the deceased and those who required medical treatment on-site will be covered under a separate proposal that will take into account individual circumstances.