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article imageCosta Cruises tries to avoid lawsuits, offers passengers package

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 27, 2012 in World
Costa Cruises, operator of the grounded Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, in an effort to ward off lawsuits, has made an offer of money to passengers. The company offered each 11,000 euros.
The offer comes following negotiations between Costa Cruises and 15 Italian consumer rights groups who negotiated on behalf of some 3200 passengers from 61 countries who were not physically harmed when the ship hit rocks and went down near the island of Giglio on Jan. 13.
This deal is not intended to address the approx. 1,000 crew members, the 100 or so passengers who were hurt, nor families of the 16 known to have died or the 16 whose bodies have not been found and are believed to have died. Passengers are not bound to accept the offer.
Costa Cruises: Offer to be received within 7 days
The money works out to about 14,600 U.S. dollars and the settlement also includes a complete refund along with payment for their passage home. There are stipulations for those accepting the offer: they must agree not to bring litigation for damages against Costa Cruises and receive their payment within 7 days. Lawyers from the U.S., the U.K. and other countries have advised passengers not to accept the offer.
Reports also say Costa Cruises have also worked out an offer for crew members that would see them continue to be paid until their contracts are up and receive compensation for expenses incurred, for personal items lost and any medical payments. At least one crew member has already launched a lawsuit seeking damages.
More about costa cruises, Costa Concordia, ship sinks off italian coast, italian tour operators
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