Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Crociere cruise liner "Costa Concordia" that capsized early this year off the coast of the Island of Giglio, Italy, has finally apologized to his victims and their relatives at a hearing held last Monday.
Admission of Some Fault
According to reuters.com, although Captain Schettino admitted to making some mistakes, he has accused the ship owners of mishandling the response and has said that he is suing Costa Crociere, a unit of Miami based Carnival Corporation, for unfair dismissal.
Throughout Monday's hearing, Schettino's lawyers stressed that the "real pattern of responsibility is starting to emerge", referring to how, for example, his orders to an Indonesian helmsman to avoid the rocks off Giglio had been misunderstood. The attorneys say that the report recently issued by court appointed experts, opines that Schettino's orders may not have been carried out correctly and that the accident may have been avoided had they been.
Captain Schettino apologized to two German survivors who attended the hearing. The captain also talked to Luciano Castro, an Italian survivor in attendance, who said that Schettino looked embarrassed when he shook his hand. Mr. Castro also said that when he told Schettino that he hoped that the truth would be established soon, the captain responded: "Yes, it needs to be established soon".
Lawyers representing the victims are stressing that the blame for the accident goes well beyond one individual. In fact, on Monday the court heard evidence that the maps used on the ship were not adequate; that the vessel came too close to shore at too high a speed; and that the crew was not properly prepared for the evacuation, all things that may be evidence of corporate negligence.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
We have often seen cruise lines pressure passengers that have suffered injuries onboard their ships into accepting a refund as compensation for their injuries. You should not allow the cruise line to pressure you into accepting an offer that is typically unfair to you. You should immediately hire a law firm with experience handling cruise ship claims that can help pressure the cruise line into paying you the compensation you deserve if a loved died of serious injuries sustained while on a cruise ship or if you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries while taking a cruise. It is important for you to remember that most passenger ticket contracts establish a six month period prior to filing suit where you must give written notice of the claim to the company (among other requirements) and limit your ability to sue to one year from the date of the accident.
Therefore, it is essential that you hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. You should not be concerned for the costs: most Florida lawyers will not charge you for the initial consultation and will work your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not be charged at all, unless the lawyer wins your case.
If you or a close relative suffered an injury while on a cruise, we urge you to contact a law firm with experience handling cruise ship injury cases. The Cruise Lines Injury Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have handled many such cases against these cruise lines over the years and can help you obtain the compensation you may deserve.
Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today.