Costa Corcordia Shipwreck Raises Liability and Recovery Questions

On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruises, ran aground off the coast of Italy. The shipwreck has resulted in the loss of crewmembers and passengers, with several people still missing. Still many other of the ship’s passengers sustained serious injuries.

Despite the potential liability of Carnival, affected crewmembers, passengers, and their families could face hurdles in pursuing legal action against the cruise line.

As with the Costa Concordia, most cruise lines include arbitration and forum selection clauses in their travel and employment contracts, which are designed to limit the ability of injured persons to bring suit and the locations that they may do so. Many travelers and even crewmembers are completely unaware of the existence of such clauses, which are usually buried in fine print of their booking or employment documents.

Doyle frequently handles personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from maritime accidents.