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Costa offers $14,460 per person for ruined cruise

italy 3206 passengers

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#1 Hum

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 15:18

ROME (AP) - Costa Crociere SpA is offering uninjured passengers euro11,000 ($14,460) apiece to compensate them for lost baggage and psychological trauma after its cruise ship ran aground and capsized off Tuscany when the captain deviated from his route.

Costa, a unit of the world's biggest cruise operator, the Miami-based Carnival Corp., also said it would reimburse passengers the full costs of their cruise, travel expenses and any medical expenses sustained after the grounding.

The agreement was announced Friday after negotiations between Costa representatives and Italian consumer groups who say they represent 3,206 cruise ship passengers from 61 countries who suffered no physical harm when the Costa Concordia hit a reef on Jan. 13.

The deal does not apply to the hundreds of crew on the ship, the roughly 100 cases of people injured or the families who lost loved ones.

Passengers are free to pursue legal action on their own if they aren't satisfied with the deal.

Some consumer groups have already signed on as injured parties in the criminal case against the Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, who is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all passengers were evacuated. He is under house arrest.

In addition, Codacons, one of Italy's best known consumer groups, has engaged two U.S. law firms to launch a class-action lawsuit against Costa and Carnival in Miami, claiming that it expects to get anywhere from euro125,000 ($164,000) to euro1 million ($1.3 million) per passenger.

But Roberto Corbella, who represented Costa in the negotiations, said the deal offered Friday provides passengers with quick, "generous," and certain restitution that consumer groups estimate could amount to some euro14,000 per passenger including the reimbursements.

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