Survivors of the Costa Concordia cruise-liner disaster are flying back to Italy today, after the ship operator failed to accept the findings of UK medical experts.
Four years on from the capsizing off the Tuscan coast, lawyers for the victims have accused Costa Crociere SpA of adding to distress by delaying proceedings.
The liner was carrying 4,200 people when it wrecked on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people. The cruise line also still refuses to admit liability or pay damages to injured passengers taking proceedings in Italy.
International lawyers from Irwin Mitchell, who are representing 12 of the passengers and crew who suffered physical and psychological injuries and who are now having to undergo further medical assessments, say that returning to Italy is “likely to only serve to compound the trauma”.
Captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, was convicted of manslaughter, and of causing the shipwreck by colliding with a reef near the tiny Giglio island, and of abandoning the capsised vessel with people still aboard.
He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. This was upheld, following an appeal from both the defence and prosecution.
After several court hearings in Genoa, Italy, Costa Crociere SpA’s lawyers rejected the assertion that the company bore any blame in the shipwreck, and called the verdict “balanced”.
In 2014, Irwin Mitchell secured undisclosed settlements for a number of other British passengers, including compensation for their pain and for financial losses.
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