Costa Concordia Victims Win U.S. Jurisdiction Victory

Press Release
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Survivors of the Costa Concordia grounding win a huge victory in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The District Judge ordered the claims of 104 survivors remanded to the Florida State Court for continued litigation.

The court's February 15, 2013 order concerned two cases, Denise Abeid-Saba , et al., v. Carnival Corporation et al., (USDC-SDFla Docket No.: 12-CV-23513) and Scimone v. Carnival Corp., (USDC-S.D.Fla Docket No.: 12-CV-23505), together representing the claims of 104 plaintiffs injured when the huge ship capsized after grounding on rocks just off the shore of Isola del Giglio .

Both cases were initially commenced in the Florida State Court against Carnival Corp. as the parent corporation as well as ship designers and the architect. The cases were removed to the Federal Court by the defendants under the CLASS ACTION FAIRNESS ACT OF 2005 ("CAFA"), which allows for the removal of so-called "mass actions" to the federal courts. As the District Court noted, however, the CAFA expressly excludes those cases that are consolidated by a defense motion to achieve the CAFA minimum of 100 plaintiffs. Since neither the Abeid-Saba action nor the Scimone action contained 100 plaintiffs, the Court held that neither was amenable to removal under CAFA.

Defendants also plead "federal question" jurisdiction as a second basis for removal; the District Court rejected this argument as well, holding that the interests in the litigation of the Italian government, which took no position in the litigation and neither owned nor operated the doomed vessel, were "speculative at best." A copy of the decision can be obtained by contacting the law firms.

Plaintiff's counsel Marc Jay Bern cited the Court's closing statements in celebrating this great victory for the plaintiffs: "As the District Court recognized, 'this case is about international and U.S. passengers injured on a pleasure cruise run by a private corporation and whether that corporation properly adhered to safety standards or was other negligent. We are thrilled that we can now turn our attention to litigating the facts of this case before a Florida State court where the plaintiffs can expect their interests will be protected rather than in Italy where the courts are notoriously slow and cases for mass torts such as shipwrecks have taken as long as thirty years without final decisions."
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

US Plans to Shut Royalty Loophole on Coal Exports

U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday.

Denmark Issues New Pilotage Regulations

In an effort to make the pilotage market more efficient, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) issued several new regulations following on amendments to the pilotage act.

US Shippers, West Coast Dockworkers Union Resume Contract Talks

Negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports resumed contract talks with the union for dockworkers on Thursday, as cargo backups continued at the ports,

Cruise Ship Trends

Port of Houston Expecting Record Year

The Port of Houston Authority is expecting 2014 to close as a banner year for the port, with 34 million tons of cargo handled through November, Executive Director

Duffy Named President of Carnival Cruise

Carnival Corporation & plc., the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today announced that Christine Duffy has been named president of Carnival Cruise Line,

Fincantieri Wins Carnival Cruise Ship Order

Fincantieri SpA has been awarded an order by Carnival Corporation & plc for the construction of two new cruise ships for Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2436 sec (4 req/sec)