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Amended complaint filed by Costa Concordia Plaintiffs

Amended complaint filed by Costa Concordia Plaintiffs
Attorneys representing many of the passengers who were aboard the doomed Costa Concordia Cruise Ship that capsized off the Italian coast in January are filing an Amended Complaint on behalf of thirty-nine individual plaintiffs in State Court before the Florida Circuit Court (11th Judicial Circuit) in Miami-Dade County. Although previous reports indicated a class action was filed, this is incorrect; no class certification is sought as the respective losses and injuries suffered by each plaintiff is unique. The initial complaint in the matter styled Scimone v. Carnival Cruise Lines, et al., under docket number 12-3496 CA 4 was filed for individually named plaintiffs on January 27, 2012.

The newly filed Amended Complaint has been transferred to the Court's Complex Litigation Division with an updated docket designation of CA 40. Plaintiffs are represented by the law firms Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik & Associates, LLP (with offices in New York and Florida), New York-based Proner & Proner and Florida law firm Colson Hicks Eidson along with the Italian firm CODACONS.

The factual recitation in the complaints sets forth the terrifying and catastrophic failings of the Carnival Cruise Lines' crew and training on the night of the incident, including the Captain's failure to sound an immediate alarm to alert the passengers when the accident occurred. Upon impact, passengers report that all of the ships lights went dark and that the Captain and much of his crew abandoned the passengers to their own devices by running from the darkened and badly listing ship with their luggage in hand, leaving the passengers in the dark without guidance and with at least half of the available life boats submerged under the grounded ship. The corporations responsible, Carnival Corporation, Costa Cruise Lines, Inc., and Costa Crociere SPA, are all registered in the State of Florida and face state law claims for Maritime Negligence, Gross Negligence, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Negligent Retention (by the Cruise Line of Captain Schettino), the Amended Complaint sets forth new causes of action including Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Fraudulent Inducement; the plaintiffs will seek punitive damages as a result of the nature of the conduct of the Costa Concordia's officers and staff, which demonstrated a reckless disregard for human life and property.

Lead Plaintiffs' Attorney Marc Jay Bern said Monday that "these passengers were left terrified and unguided in a desperate situation while the Captain was already safely in a lifeboat with his clothes dry and his luggage in hand. Once the surviving passengers reached land, their ordeal was far from over because Carnival failed to offer them the barest courtesies and assistance, leaving them in a country where most were aliens, with only the clothes on their back, no money and no passports." More details will be provided when Bern and his colleagues hold a press conference on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 outside the 11th Judicial Circuit Courthouse, 175 Northwest 1st Avenue, Miami, Florida at 3:00 p.m.