Oil recovery workers pass the Costa Concordia cruise ship
Oil recovery workers pass the Costa Concordia cruise ship REUTERS

The Costa Concordia crew is suing the Carnival Corp. for at least $100 million following the Jan. 13 disaster that has left the cruise ship sinking off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio.

The Costa Concordia crash has left at least 16 people dead and a half-submerged vessel just off Italy's west coast.

A complaint that alleges negligence and breach of contract was filed in federal court in Chicago on Thursday, by Gary Lobaton, a member of the Costa Concordia crew, Bloomberg reported. He is seeking a class-action status that represents all victims of Costa Concordia disaster.

An Italian judge has placed the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, under house arrest. He is being accused of causing the deadly ship crash by steering too close to the shore. Schettino is also accused of abandoning the sinking ship before all the passengers were evacuated.

Schettino is reportedly facing 15 years in prison for the incident.

The defendants failed to properly and timely notify all plaintiffs on board of the deadly and dangerous condition of the cruise ship as to avoid injury and death, Lobaton stated in the complaint, as reported by Bloomberg.

There were approximately 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew on the Costa Concordia when it ran aground on Italy. The 114,500-ton luxury cruise liner struck a reef and ripped a 70- to 100-meter hole in its hull the day the crash occurred.

Reports are that 16 people are still missing.

Accoridng to Bloomberg, Costa said it has reached agreements with consumer groups in several countries to pay damages to passengers. That report also noted that one group preparing a class action has advised its clients to not accept the offer of about 11,000 euros ($14,452) each. Another group has said that most passengers would agree to it.

Schettino a 'Braggart'

Capt. Mario Palombo, a former captain of the Costa Concordia, has told the media that Schettino is a braggart and a show-off who drove the Costa Concordia like a Ferrari.

Costa Cruises' boss Pier Luigi Foschi has apologized for the incident. He said the cruise ship is sinking because of a human error.

This route was put in correctly. The fact that it left from this course is due solely to a maneuver by the commander that was unapproved, unauthorized and unknown to Costa, Foschi told the BBC. He wanted to show the ship, to [go] nearby this island of Giglio, so he decided to change the course of the ship to go closer to the island.