The Costa Crociere will have to compensate with approx 92,700 euros for a castaway from the Costa Concordia. This was decided by the Court of Genoa which recognized the pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage suffered by Ernesto Carusotti, one of the passengers of the Concordia who on the night of 13 January 2012 was involved in the tragic shipwreck on the Island of Giglio. With a sensational sentence, the Civil Section I of the Court of Genoa (judge Paolo Gibelli) fully accepted the arguments of the Codacons, who defended the passenger, recognizing the responsibilities of Costa Cruises and the post-traumatic stress damage suffered by the castaway due to of the accident.
The court ruling
We read in the judgment of the Court: “The responsibility of interest here is that for the injuries complained of by the plaintiff, or the post-traumatic stress disorder (such as health injury) and the damage from stressful experience (connected to the particular circumstances in the victim experienced the shipwreck) […] In the current case, any faults in the process of being rescued from the shipwreck do not eliminate the responsibility of the person responsible for the shipwreck itself. Carusotti could have avoided the trauma by regularly going down to sea with the first lifeboat, the stressful experience would certainly have been at least much less, perhaps there would have been no biological damage. But everything that actually happened to Carusotti also depended on the shipwreck, which is a crime for which Costa is responsible. There is no need for anything else. […]”. In particular, here are the elements that led the judge to establish the obligation of compensation. “The central nucleus of the summons and of the defenses – explains the sentence – seems oriented to make it clear that, even in the presence of the shipwreck, the same could have been better managed, without harm to the actor”, reads.
Specifically, “that the DGE should have reactivated after the collision (which happened only to be followed by a new and definitive block with insufficient current supply only by the reserve in the batteries)”. Again, «that the said apparatus, due to the progress of the ship’s inclination, should have guaranteed energy to essential services for at least half an hour; that superfluous utilities should not have been connected to the emergency supply, indeed contraindicated such as lifts; that instead the supply of current should have activated the bilge pump, slowing down the progress of the inclination at least for a while ».
Furthermore, the sentence observes, “that even in the absence of electricity, a staff prepared for the emergency would have avoided panic; that the current supplied should have fed the electric lifeboat recovery winches; that this recovery would have made it possible to amend the erroneous maneuver of ditching the Carusotti lifeboat, allowing it to descend which would avoid the terrifying crossing of the ship in the direction of danger ».
«In fact, Costa Cruises’ autonomous liability profiles are deduced for almost all of these facts […]The judge underlines. Which concludes: «Overall, therefore, the thesis of full compensation even for damage of an existential nature if proven and as a consequence of a crime seems to be acceptable to the extender and conforms to the system of civil liability. It remains confirmed that Costa must also bear the damage for the mere traumatic and stressful experience, as well as for the biological injury ascertained by the medical Ctu. Naturally Costa is also liable for the pecuniary damage ».
The Court of Genoa therefore sentenced Costa Cruises to compensate Ernesto Carusotti with 77 thousand euros for the pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage suffered as a result of the shipwreck, and to pay 15,692 euros in legal fees. “This is a very important victory for Codacons, which had immediately supported the responsibilities of Costa Cruises for the accident that took place on the Island of Giglio, and the total incongruity of the compensation paid by the company to the shipwrecked of the Concordia”, says the consumer association. All the castaways of the Costa Concordia who now intend to initiate a similar legal action against Costa Cruises and obtain compensation for the damage suffered, says Codacons, “can contact the association by sending an email to info codacons.it”.
Last updated: Monday 27 December 2021, 4:09 pm
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