Italy Cruise Ship Crash – up to the minute – Aronberg, Aronberg & Green

Jan. 20th, 2012   /   ,

Italy Cruise Ship Crash – up to the minute – Aronberg, Aronberg & Green

As we close out a week of legal juggernauts, we’d like to give you the most up-to-date facts on the cruise ship case that has rocked the coast of Italy as well as most of mainstream media.

As of the middle of last night (US time), Italian rescue teams had determined to resume their search and rescue efforts in the aftermath of the crash of the Costa Concordia. Before that, however, an exclusive interview with one of the chefs aboard the Costa Concordia was obtained – and analyzed – by many high-profile legal commentators on a variety of news networks. The chef broke the story that after the ship had already struck rocks, the ship’s captain, Franceso Schettino, ordered dinner for himself and a female friend of his, all the while knowing that the ship was in trouble.

There are photos of the two friends dining comfortably during the time that Schettino should have been implementing security measures that might have been able to prevent lives being lost in the aftermath of the ship. Furthermore, telephone records show that Schettino spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with the cruise line’s owner, Carnival Corp., during the time that he could have been conducting a damage assessment and figuring out a correct course of action.

So, Schettino was enjoying a cruise ship dinner and chatting with this bosses during the time that he should have been surveying the ship, implementing evacuation routes, and above all else, calling the Italian coast guard for help. What could Carnival Corp., based in Florida, have done to help a prematurely grounded ship? In addition, it took nearly 60 minutes from the time that the ship hit a rock for Schettino to reach out for help – and that was after he on the ship received a call from the Coast Guard! A guest on the ship had the wherewithal to contact a relative on land, and that relative, in turn, contacted the Italian Coast Guard, who had the decency to do their job and reach out to the ship in distress.

Clearly, Schettino is guilty of negligence on multiple counts. To begin with, he should not have had the ship sailing so close to shore. Then, after the ship hit rocks, Schettino should have been more concerned with doing his job and saving lives than enjoying a meal with a female friend and saving face with his bosses. Clearly, this is an issue of human error.

Nevertheless, Schettino’s failures are the cruise line’s owner, Carnival Corp.’s, responsibility. The company, by employing Schettino, assumed responsibility of his actions (and inactions) in both a legal and financial manner. For example, the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which occurred nearly two years ago, was clearly the result of human error in judgment. Nevertheless, the financial claims being made in a response to the spill were sent to – and, for the most part, covered by – BP, the company that owned all of the mechanisms involved in the oil spill. In summation, while it was Schettino’s abject failure, it will be Carnival Corp.’s legal liability and, therefore, their financial responsibility.

If you have any questions relating to this or any other legal matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green at 561-266-9191 or email us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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