Florida Judge Dismisses Costa Concordia Lawsuit Citing Improper Forum

Last week, a Florida judge dismissed a class action lawsuit filed against Carnival Cruise Lines in Fort Lauderdale. In the lawsuit, several Italian companies sought financial damages from the cruise company in connection with the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy that occurred off of the coast of Italy earlier this year. United States District Judge Robin Rosenbaum granted the cruise company's motion to dismiss the lawsuit and stated the case should have been filed in an Italian court instead.

In January, the Costa Concordia reportedly sailed too close to the island of Giglio and struck a number of submerged rocks before the vessel began taking on water and capsized with approximately 4,000 people on board. Sadly, 32 passengers and crewmembers were killed in the incident. The accident was blamed on a number of errors allegedly made by the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino. As a result of the tragedy, several lawsuits were filed against Carnival Cruise Lines, the parent company of Costa Cruise Lines, in the United States.

In the dismissed case, plaintiffs asked the federal court to award them approximately $75 million in compensation due to purportedly shrinking property values, damage to Giglio Island's ecosystem, and depressed tourism in the area. Two other lawsuits were also filed in Florida against Carnival Cruise Lines this year. Both cases are seeking monetary damages for personal injuries, emotional distress, or property damage sustained as a result of the wreck. It is still unclear whether those cases will be allowed to continue in the United States.

If you were injured while traveling on a cruise ship, your damages claim is subject to a different set of laws than if you were hurt while on land. Additionally, when you travel as a passenger on a cruise ship you are bound by the contract provisions included in your ticket. Injuries that occur most frequently while cruising include slips or trips and falls, shore excursion injuries, and environmental or food borne illnesses. Normally, the amount of time you have to file your cruise ship injury claim is limited to only one year. In order to protect your rights, you should contact a knowledgeable lawyer who understands the complicated field of maritime law after any injury on a cruise ship.

If you or someone you love was hurt while traveling or working on a cruise ship, call Seattle Maritime Attorneys John Merriam and Gordon Webb toll free at 877.800.1007. Our capable Seattle cruise ship passenger injury attorneys have nearly 50 years of combined experience helping those who were harmed while traveling by sea receive the financial compensation that their injuries merit. Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webb handle cruise ship passenger injury cases that originated throughout the world including the Gulf of Mexico, the Bering Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Alaska. To speak with a hardworking maritime law attorney today, please do not hesitate to contact lawyers John Merriam and Gordon Webb through the law firm's website.

Additional Resources:

Lauderdale judge dismisses Concordia lawsuit, by Arlene Satchell, Sun-Sentinel

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