Passengers and crew who suffered physical and psychological injuries when the Costa Concordia capsized have criticised the cruise ship’s operator as it continues to deny liability for what happened.
Following a recent court hearing in Genoa, Costa Crociere Spa’s lawyers denied liability including allowing the crew to perform a dangerous manoeuvre which led to the shipwreck off the coast of Italy.
They also deny the crew had lacked training and that there was a lack of information given to passengers as the Concordia went down.
Costa also denied responsibility for the lack of intervention of the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, and other crew members who abandoned the ship on the Isle of Giglio.
Schettino was found guilty in February this year of multiple manslaughter charges, causing an environmental disaster and abandoning ship on the night of the disaster that claimed 32 lives, and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are working with Italian colleagues to pursue the cases of a dozen passengers and crew through the Italian legal system.
Last year, the law firm secured undisclosed settlements for a number of other British passengers after court proceedings were issued in in England against the cruise operator Costa Crociere.
Philip Banks, a partner at the law firm said: “We are surprised and bitterly disappointed for all of our clients that Costa Crociere Spa has still not admitted liability for the disaster that happened over three years ago.
“The cruise operator has stated that it was not responsible for the captain and his actions even though he was their employee. This is an unacceptable position to take and this is an incident which quite simply should never have happened.”
“We do not believe that the cruise operator is facing up to its responsibilities and its actions in continuing to deny liability will only delay further the resolution of our clients’ legal claims.
“The incident is still firmly in the minds of victims who are trying to fully come to terms with their injuries. The victims of the Costa Concordia disaster have suffered enough over the past few years and the impact of the legal proceedings upon their lives should be kept to a minimum.
“We urge the Costa cruise line to work with us and our Italian colleagues to try and resolve our clients’ cases and ensure that justice is done as soon as possible.”
More than 4,000 passengers and crew were on board the Costa Concordia ship when it hit a rock near the island of Giglio, an island off Italy’s western coast. The impact ripped a hole in the hull and 32 people died as the ship capsized.