Lewis S. "Mike" Eidson, partner in South Florida 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." He says such damages "could be in the millions of dollars."
Mr. Eidson says 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.
Mr. Eidson says 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. He 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.
January 16, 2011