Costa Concordia

Too early for Costa Concordia compensation: lawyer

A lawyer representing 12 Dutch passengers who escaped the stricken Italian ship Costa Concordia, said Wednesday it was too early to say whether 11,000 euros offered in compensation would be "suitable".

"It is simply to early to say whether the amount is suitable. It takes one or two years before knowing the exact problems survivors of these type of incidents may suffer from," lawyer Sander Lang told AFP.

He said one of his clients suffered "concentration problems", while another had panic attacks in public gatherings, symptoms which Lang said could fade, remain the same or worsen over time.

"Therefore it is necessary to wait" before making a decision, he said.

The Italian ship’s operator Costa Crociere and advocacy groups representing survivors struck a deal Friday in which around 3,000 survivors are to receive 11,000 euros (U$14,474) each plus expenses, two weeks after the accident.

Passengers would also be reimbursed for the cost of the cruise, estimated at some 3,000 euros each, as well as any travel and medical expenses.

Six passengers in the United States however are suing Carnival Lines, Costa Crociere’s parent company, demanding compensation totalling $460 million.

In France a number of passengers have rejected the deal and filed legal complaints with the French courts.

And on Wednesday, the family of a 71-year-old man who died after having left the only available life jacket to his wife filed a complaint for manslaughter and violations of the safety regulations in a Paris court.

The 114,500-tonne Costa Concordia with more than 4,200 people aboard ran aground on rocks off Giglio Island and lurched on to its side as passengers were settling down to dinner shortly after the start of a Mediterranean cruise.

Up to 32 people are feared to have died in the January 13 disaster.

(Published by Leader-Post - February 1, 2012)

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Read more - Top stories

2/2/12 - Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino faces 19 charges - click here.

2/2/12 - Costa Concordia passengers sue cruise company for $460m - click here.

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