Costa is offering the passengers who were aboard the Concordia cruise ship sank when it sank two weeks ago an 11,000 euro ($14,500) compensation package.
The company reached an agreement with a number of Italian consumer groups representing passengers from 61 different counties, and the money is meant to cover items lost and any psychological damages.
There were a total of 4,200 people on board the Concordia when it sank, about 1,000 of whom were crew members. That means that Costa will be compensating more than 3,200 passengers, bringing the total payout to an estimated $45 million.
The Concordia was insured by $513 million, which would cover the payments, although the company would have to pay the $10 million deductible on its injury liability plan, according to Property Casualty 360. But there are more costs associated with the disaster and Costa stands to take a significant loss.
The company will lose $90 to $95 million this year with the Concordia -- which is still lying in the water near Giglio Island -- not making its usual trips. The ship itself, christened in July 2006, cost the cruiseline about $500 million. With a near-200 foot long gash in the ship's hull, chances are slim that the boat will sail again, and while some of the ship is likely salvageable, the company will need to replace the vessel in its fleet.
Additionally, there is the long-term loss that will be accrued from would-be cruisers either picking a different company or a different type of vacation all together. And the longer the boat sits in the water, the more the whole cruising industry is going to suffer financially.
By taking Costa's payment, passengers are agreeing not to sue, so the company and its parent, Carnival Cruise Lines, hope that it will minimize the lawsuits and inevitable court-ordered payments to come.
Two United States-based law firms have already filed class action suits against Carnival and are trying to get at least $160,000 for each passenger. As of last week, 110 passengers had signed on to the suit.
Additionally, large Italian consumer group Codacons is urging passengers not to settle, according to Reuters. Codacons has also filed a class action suit in Genoa, Italy, and although it stated earlier that it wanted to get each passenger $12,000, the group seems to be holding out for more.
What is unclear is what, if anything, the crew members of the Concordia will get from their employer. While they may not be entitled to the payments, they are still able to sue Costa for damages and injuries, according to Miami-based maritime lawyer John Hickey.
Captain Francesco Schettino has been blamed by the company and by Italian courts for the disaster, and could also face both jail time and civil suits. Schettino, who allegedly made an unauthorized change of course when piloting the boat and then fled the scene once the ship started to sink, has been charged with multiple counts of manslaughter and abandoning ship.
At least 16 people died in the accident, and Costa said that it will compensate the families of victims individually, according to CNN.