Despite legal obstacles that might force them to sue in Italy litigants seek damages from Miami-based Carnival Corp. in US courts.
The lawsuits filed in both federal and state courts contend that Carnival is the corporate parent of the Costa brand, which operated the vessel, and is ultimately responsible for any safety violations, negligence or recklessness that may have led to the Jan. 13 accident that claimed 32 lives, reports 'The Washington Post'.
Investigators say the ship rammed a reef while passing too close to Giglio Island, off Italy’s Tuscan coast.
“Costa Cruise Lines is the alter ego of Carnival,” said Edward Ricci, whose lawsuit seeks to represent Giglio Island tourist-related businesses that claim the disaster deterred visitors, polluted environmentally sensitive local waters and depressed property values.
Even though the Costa Crociere subsidiary is based in Genoa, Italy, and the Costa Concordia itself never sailed to a U.S. port, Ricci contends that it and Carnival’s other brands all answer to its Miami headquarters. Carnival, he noted, announced a company-wide audit of safety practices after the disaster that is being overseen by Miami-based executives.
Source: The Washington Post