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American lawyer sees punitive penalties for Costa Crociere

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson, partner at the nationally recognised trial law firm Colson Hicks Eidson and former president of the American Association for Justice – the world’s largest association of trial lawyers – believes punitive damages will be appropriate for the Costa Concordia accident which resulted in loss of life and countless injuries to thousands of passengers in an unexplainable and completely avoidable accident.

“In addition to loss of use of the vessel and potential criminal charges, Carnival will face enormous costs associated with personal injury and negligence lawsuits” The cruise ship is operated by Costa Cruise Lines, Inc. and its subsidiary, Costa Crociere S.p.A., located in Hollywood, Florida. Both companies sail under the banner of their owner Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise company in the world, which is located in Miami-Dade County. According to Eidson, all three corporations could be liable for the passengers’ damages and for violation of laws and industry regulations.

“At this time we know of 6 dead and 29 unaccounted for. There are serious physical and psychological injuries to the thousands of passengers who were fortunate enough to escape with their lives,” says Eidson. The Costa Concordia ran aground on Friday after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy with more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board. Costa Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi blamed human error stating, “The captain did not follow the authorized route that is used by Costa ships.” The Captain, Mr. Schettino, told Italian television he was not to blame for the ship, built in 2006, crashing into the rocks. “I don’t know if it was detected or not, but on the nautical chart, it was marked just as water…

In addition to loss of use of the vessel and potential criminal charges, Carnival will face enormous costs associated with personal injury and negligence lawsuits,” says Eidson. “Lawyers and safety investigators will examine issues like safety procedures and negligence such as failing to perform the safety drill, policy failures that allowed a captain to abandon ship before the passengers, and lack or failure of a warning system to notify the crew they were off course, which could have prevented such a foreseeable accident from occurring. In addition, they will examine the fundamental question of how Carnival and Costa would employ a captain who would knowingly sail their ship into such dangerous conditions and allegedly tamper with the ship’s safety detection equipment.”

“Airplanes have ground proximity warning devices that emit an audible warning but pilots must listen and take action. Why wasn’t the crew monitoring their course? Who was controlling this vessel with 4,200 lives on board? This is preposterous with today’s technology. This is not the era of the Titanic when you couldn’t see an iceberg. Passengers feared for their lives and many are still unaccounted for,” says Eidson.

In a career that spans 25 years, Eidson has handled numerous cruise ship and aviation disasters, involving the operation of cruise ships, cases involving off shore accidents, and medical malpractice matters aboard vessels. He has handled accidents occurring throughout the Caribbean, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Alaska, among others.

“Carnival may try to isolate and place total blame for the accident on the captain to minimize punitive damages, which could be in the millions of dollars, to protect their industry, and their position of leadership in the industry,” says Eidson. The cases could be litigated in Miami, the home base of Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruise Lines, even though the accident occurred in Italy. Eidson also warned passengers that their ticket may contain a venue selection provision and a short one year statute of limitations in which to bring a claim for their losses. Also, most such tickets require passengers to make a claim for their losses within six months of the incident.


Mein Schiff 1’s godmother returns to ship

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Ina Muller, godmother of TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 1 will again return to the ship to give a concert on board on the third anniversary of the ship’s naming ceremony. Muller will bring her band on board as well, in addition to which passengers on the cruise will have an opportunity to listen to music by Johannes Oerding, singer and songwriter. On 15 May, the date when the ship was named in Hamburg in 2009, passengers will also be trated to a fireworks spectacular in Monte Carlo, where the ship will call on that day tis year, the company said.

Former jockey joins three other sports personalities on Boudicca's next week Caribbean cruise

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says  former jockey and Grand National winner, Bob Champion MBE, will be joining its  cruise enrichment programme, Vistas, as one of its ‘Sporting Personalities.’ Bob will be speaking about his amazing life, onboard Boudicca cruise D1202, a 35-night ex-UK voyage to the Caribbean and Cuba, departing from Southampton on 19 January 2012.

 

Born in Yorkshire in 1948, Bob became a leading jump jockey, whose most memorable victory was wining the Grand National in 1981. His triumph was all the more impressive because he had previously battled testicular cancer, and fought his way back to health. His victory, riding ‘Aldaniti’, has become the stuff of legend, and a film, ‘Champions,’ was made of his life, with John Hurt in the title role.

 Following his own experience with cancer, Bob Champion set up ‘The Bob Champion Cancer Trust’ in 1981, and has since raised millions for cancer research; in 1982, he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

On this  ‘Caribbean and Cuba’ cruise, the Atlantic crossing is broken by a call into the Canary Island of Tenerife, before Boudicca begins her odyssey of the Caribbean islands. Her ports of call are a roll call of idyllic destinations – the islands of Barbados and Curaçao, then Cartagena in Colombia, and Colon in Panama, before reaching Montego Bay on the colourful ‘reggae island’ of Jamaica. The next port is a highlight of the cruise – an overnight stay in Havana, Cuba, a port steeped in history and romance. Two more Caribbean islands complete this part of the itinerary – Turks and Caicos, and the tiny island of St. Maarten – before Boudicca begins her return voyage to Southampton, broken by a last call into Ponta Delgada in the Azores.

This cruise has a host of added attractions, in addition to its superb itinerary. Joining Bob Champion are three other renowned ‘Sporting Personalities’, ex-footballer and former Manager of both Spurs and Arsenal, Terry Neill, and the former darts champions, Keith Delleand Cliff Lazarenko, who will be entertaining guests throughout this cruise, the company said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines could ask agents to provide financial security

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the UK based operator of four medium sized ships,  could start asking agents for a bond or other financial security if it cannot secure credit insurance to cover the risk of doing business with them, Travel Weekly reports on its website.

The operator says it wants to take a collaborative approach with the trade and that it is in talks with agent partners about how it can manage financial risk. The move mirrors similar changes Complete Cruise Solution(CCS) has made to the way it works with agents. CCS, which is part of the Carnival UK group, does not have credit insurance for agents.

Fred Olsen said it was looking to secure credit insurance to protect itself against agency failure but that this was “becoming increasingly difficult”. The current economic climate means many insurance limits are being reduced or removed, it said. Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred Olsen, said it has credit insurance secured for 80% of agents but the remainder still posed a substantial potential risk. “This has got to be a dialogue, not a one-size-fits-all solution. We started conversations before Christmas, it would be great if we could have something in place by the end of January,” he was quoted by Travel Weekly as saying.

Disney Fantasy floated out in Papenburg

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

 

The newest Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Fantasy, floated out of the enclosed building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard yesterday as fireworks filled the sky. This symbolizes one of the final stages of this ship's construction and marks a significant milestone towards the March 31, 2012 maiden voyage.

The Disney Fantasy features many of the innovations found on her sister ship, Disney Dream, with several new guest experiences exclusive to the ship that are sure to delight every member of the family. New experiences found on the Disney Fantasy include two Broadway-style musical spectaculars for the Walt Disney Theatre, a dining experience at Animator's Palate where guests' own drawings magically come to life, an interactive adventure quest starring the Muppets, a splashtacular water play area called AquaLab, a sophisticated nighttime entertainment area for adults inspired by European travel and much more.

The Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. All voyages will depart from Port Canaveral, Fla. and include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

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