Nobody can have failed to see the news about the recent Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster off the coast of Italy.
Some of the injured survivors may be considering asking a personal injury solicitor to file a claim for personal injury compensation against the owners of the liner. However, they could be in for a shock!
Before they contemplate bringing a personal injury claim against the shipping company, passengers should review their contract with costacruise.com. The contract, which can be found on the company’s website, contains 7 pages of limitations. For example, the carrier is only liable to pay around $70,000 in the event of personal injury or wrongful death of a passenger.
Another limitation states that claims against Costa Cruise Line must be filed in Genoa under Italian law. However, in the event of a claim, Costa and Carnival Cruise Lines (the parent company) can still benefit from American law.
People must notify Costa Cruise line within 185 days of the death or injury of a passenger that they intend to file suit and the claim must be filed within one year of the date of death or injury otherwise it will be barred forever.
Limitations also exist on the amount of compensation paid out for loss of clothing and personal items such as jewellery, money, computers, cameras and mobile phones.
It is thought that some personal injury lawyers are considering a Class Action. However, paragraph 9 of the contract expressly prohibits this cause of action.
When we go on holiday we do not expect things to go seriously wrong and few people read the fine print hidden away in their contract. Not only did the passengers on the Costa Concordia suffer an awful ordeal when the ship ran aground, they could be in for a nasty shock when they realise they will get very little in the way of compensation.