Dozens of Costa Concordia survivors have joined in a Florida lawsuit against Carnival Corp. accusing them of negligence and fraud.
Suing for about $528 million, 33 more passengers were added to the Florida lawsuit that was filed in January with just six. The lawsuit claims that Carnival Corp. and its employees exercised gross negligence on the ship that resulted in the deaths of 32 people on board, reported the Maritime Executive.
The crews allegedly did not conduct proper safely drills and adequately provide the passengers with information. The lawsuit claims that the crew was not properly prepared for the evacuation and the cruise line caused mental distress to those on board.
Witnesses were forced to fend for themselves on the ship with little communication and direction from the crew. The captain had allegedly fled on a lifeboat. The lawsuit claims that the cruise liner committed fraud by claiming they followed all safety regulations. The passengers said that an online agreement that they accepted when they bought their tickets did not provide the full details about safety on board.
Plaintiffs found themselves in a listing, capsizing, sinking vessel without communication, direction or help from the captain and misdirection from the crew from approximately 9:45 p.m. to approximately 11 p.m. and were left to fend for themselves, the lawsuit said, according to MSNBC.
The passengers are asking for over $78 million in compensatory damages and $450 million in punitive damages. These figures do not include the attorney fees, reported the Maritime Executive.
The nature of the conduct, being so outrageous and reckless, and the failure to provide for safety features, actually negates the contract ... it makes the ticket null and void, said Marc Jay Bern, a senior partner in one of the law firms that filed the suit, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik and Associates, according to MSNBC.
Carnival Corp originally offered passengers $15,000 each. Passengers had to agree to the offer by Tuesday, but the company extended the offer to March 31, 2012.
The families of deceased and missing victims and guests who were injured will be covered under a separate proposal based on their individual circumstances, the cruise line said, according to MSNBC.
The passengers who are claiming the damages in the lawsuit are from the United States, Italy, Venezuela, China, Canada, Germany, Korea and Kazakhstan, reported Maritime Executive. The lawsuit said that Florida courts should hold the case because the defendants, Carnival Corp. engaged in business in the state.