Costa Concordia: Italian woman sues over miscarriage after cruise ship disaster
AN Italian woman who claims the terror and trauma of being involved in the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster caused her to have a miscarriage has filed for a million euros in damages and compensation.
The 30-year-old, from Milan, was five months pregnant when she boarded the luxury liner on Jan 13 for a week-long cruise of the Mediterranean.
She and her husband were forced to make a hazardous night-time evacuation of the ship when it grounded off the Tuscan island of Giglio after a collision with a rocky islet tore a giant gash in its hull.
The woman, identified only as Cristina M, survived the ordeal but miscarried a week afterwards.
She is convinced that she lost her baby as a direct result of the stress and fear she underwent that night.
She and her 40-year-old husband, an accountant, have joined a class action against Costa Cruises, the Genoa-based owners of the ship, to demand a million euros in compensation for the "material, biological and moral injury" they endured.
Seventeen people are so far confirmed to have died in the accident, although the death toll is expected to rise to 32, because another 15 people are still missing, including a five-year-old Italian girl and her father.
The 950ft-long liner ran into trouble just two hours after its departure from the port of Civitavecchia near Rome.
Its captain, Francesco Schettino, apparently took the vessel perilously close to Giglio because he wanted to 'salute' an old colleague who has a house on the island.
Capt Schettino remains under house arrest at his home near Naples, although prosecutors will this week request that he be placed back in custody, claiming he might try to leave the country.
Costa Cruises has offered passengers a lump sum of €11,000 each in compensation, provided they drop any other litigation.
But the deal has been rejected by some passengers, including a group of six who have filed a law suit in the US demanding €292 million in compensation.
A number of French tourists have filed legal complaints with the French courts, while in Germany a group of 19 passengers has filed criminal charges against Capt Schettino.