Costa Offers Uninjured Cruise Passengers $14K To Cover Lost Baggage, Psychological Trauma

What amount of money could make up for the time the giant cruise ship you were on steered too close to shore and hit rocks, triggering a scary evacuation of you and your fellow passengers, the loss of your belongings and the trauma over the fact that others on the boat were killed? Costa cruise lines thinks about $14,460 is the right number.

The Associated Press says the cruise line, a unit of Carnival, is offering that amount to compensate the uninjured passengers on the Costa Concordia, which ran aground and sank off the coast of Italy on Jan. 13, to cover any lost baggage and psychological trauma. They’ll also be reimbursed for travel expenses and medical expenses resulting from the experience.

Costa came to the agreement after discussions with Italian consumer groups who say they represented 3,206 of the cruise ship passengers who were not harmed when the captain took an apparently “touristic navigation” too close to shore and hit rocks.

If passengers aren’t satisfied with the money, they are free to pursue legal action. Another consumer group is expected to launch a class-action lawsuit against Costa and Carnival, saying they expect to get a bigger payload of $164,000 to $1.3 million per passenger.

There are hundreds of crew from the ship and about 100 passengers who were injured who aren’t covered in the deal, as well as the families of those who lost a loved one.

The captain of the ship is currently under house arrest after having been accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all passengers were evacuated. Some passengers have said the evacuation was an unorganized, panicky affair, with unprepared crew members and many lifeboats failing to work or be lowered due to the ship’s listing on one side.

Costa offers $14,460 per person for ruined cruise [Associated Press]

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  1. theblackdog says:

    Better than the airlines, where you’d get a $250 voucher and a “we’re sorry” form letter.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      An earlier news report said their initial offer was something like 30% off their next cruise.

      • One-Eyed Jack says:

        The “refund + 30% off a future cruise” offer was given those passengers who were booked on later sailings of the Concordia, not those on the doomed ship, to my understanding.

    • BfloAnonChick says:

      I would assume the airline-related analogy to this being perhaps the compensation after surviving a crash. And I would HOPE that it’s more than $250 and a form letter.

      But then perhaps I’m overestimating the airlines.

  2. PHRoG says:

    “$164,000 to $1.3 million per passenger” – totaling less than the original offer of 14k after attorneys fees.

    • dolemite says:

      Yup, that was my thought too. “Ok, we attorneys keep ….300 million. You guys split this 20k.”

    • regis-s says:

      If the cruise line offered $164,000 to $1.3 million and the passengers accepted it why would there be attorney’s fees?

      • PHRoG says:

        From the article:

        If passengers aren’t satisfied with the money, they are free to pursue legal action. Another consumer group is expected to launch a class-action lawsuit against Costa and Carnival, saying they expect to get a bigger payload of $164,000 to $1.3 million per passenger.

        Those usually require lawyers that get paid extremely well.

  3. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    “Another consumer group is expected to launch a class-action lawsuit against Costa and Carnival, saying they expect to get a bigger payload of $164,000 to $1.3 million per passenger.”

    $1.3 million per passenger seems somewhat unlikely (for the uninjured ones).

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Agreed. I’d take the 14K+ offer now. They’re also paying any medical expenses. No telling how long a lawsuit might drag on, in any case. Or how much the amount that finally makes it to the passengers would be reduced.

  4. Gorbachev says:

    This deal should exclude the nouveau riche Russians, who apparently aided by their fat wallets “miraculously” ended up first in the lifeboats.

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      Having been to Russia and dealt with Russians in situations requiring the orderly entrance/exit from a place, I’m not so sure it was their fat wallets and not their fat asses, elbows, legs, and heads being used to push other people out of the way.

  5. Costner says:

    I was under the belief that due to international maritime law, there is a maximum that any passenger could get – and it was less than $10,000. If that holds true, it would seem this is acceptable.

    However, aside from those looking to profit from this experience, if they were not injured will more money make their experience less traumatic? I’m all for paying the families of those who have died and paying for those who were actually harmed, but what number is acceptable to compensate people for emotional distress?

    Mark my words – the real winners here will be a large conglomerate of lawyers who are (pardon the pun) circling the waters looking to take a huge bite out of the cruise line as they profit from the event.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Is the $10k for an accident, or would it include negligence. That’s probably the big kicker here, is that this occured because the captain grossly failed in his duties.

    • yurei avalon says:

      Well if you ended up with PTSD or some other sort of mental disorder due to the accident, which isn’t impossible I could see needing more than than $15k they are offering if you have to go to counseling, therapy or other related care for years or a life time.

  6. ThatTastesTerrible! says:

    So… who died? Some guy in the basement?

    • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

      Between the confirmed dead and the people still missing, a few dozen.

    • rookie says:

      read the news much???

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Maybe if you crawled out from under that mossy rock every once in a while you’d know more about it.

    • csciguy says:

      Could you be a little more inappropriate? They’ve confirmed 16 dead so far.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’m not sure what’s worse – that you’re completely uninformed to the gravity/deathtoll of the event, or that you seem to think one dead man in the basement is somehow not a big deal.

      • JennQPublic says:

        So, do you fully grasp the gravity of every individual death on this planet, or just the ones that occur on cruise ships and receive significant media play?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’ve now mentally put you under the “Troll/Uninformed” category, and will summarily ignore your posts.

    • ThatTastesTerrible! says:

      So my work filters CNN. Sue me why don’t you.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        A) CNN is one of 10,000 news sources
        B) Read the news at home
        C) It’s been in the news for a week or more – it’s not like this was brand new and you didn’t have time to find out.

        • ThatTastesTerrible! says:

          A) No shit Sherlock
          B) Too busy playing Skyrim
          C) You troll as much as anyone here. Move along.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            A) You said something stupid
            B) We called you on it
            C) You tried to backtrack
            D) We don’t buy that buillshit
            E) Lists are awesome
            F) ???
            G) Profit!

            • ThatTastesTerrible! says:

              A) I sure did
              B) Did you ever!
              C) I tried, you’re not making it easy
              D) We as in royal we or we as in this imaginary community we all pretend to be a part of?
              E) Isn’t there some technology somewhere that needs help coexisting with nature? You should get on that.
              F) Okay, now I’m moving along
              G) Skyrim fucking rocks

          • JennQPublic says:

            Skyrim is probably a better use of your time than reading depressing news stories about events that have absolutely no bearing on your life.

  7. umbriago says:

    I don’t know if I’d want to get involved in a lawsuit that might put the cruise company out of business? Even if you sue and win for $750,000 per passenger, that’s $2.4 biillion dollars.

    If I get reimbursed for my expenses and inconvenience, that seems fair….easy for me to say, since I wasn’t there, however.

    • Hoss says:

      It might put the insurance co out of business — not the cruise line

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        Probably not. All policies have limits. After that, you’re liable.

        Johns Manville ended up being largely owned by litigants in a class action suit related to asbestos (technically, a trust formed to pay victims was had the equity stake), so there’s also the equity possibility.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      It seems fair if it was truely an accident. I’d be out for blood if it were me because the captian was so grossly neglagent. He was basically drunk and going, “WOOOOO!! I’M ON A BOAT” while waving to his friends. Then he crashed the boat, and skipped out as soon as he could have.

      I do think they should be paid more than they were actually out due to the vacation and injuries. I don’t know how MUCH more, but definitely more.

      You don’t get to act like a stupid-drunk-fratboy when you have so many lives in your hands. It’s just not right.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Well if you notice the offer is $14k PLUS expenses.

        I love how the article basically says that an uninjured person should be more money because someone else was killed? Wait, what?!?!

  8. Hoss says:

    This time they’re tipping in the right direction. I’d also want a free flight to the captain’s trial

  9. BettyCrocker says:

    These people will probably have nightmares for some time to come. Will some percentage need therapy? Will any of them ever be able to get on a cruise ship and enjoy themselves after this? Not to mention more minor issues like the loss of vacation time they can’t recover.

    Keep in mind this was not a random natural disaster.

    Throw in that it looks like they tried to cover it up with a power out lie wasting about an hour they could have had people evacuating in the process.

    Who should be held accountable to compensate people? The captain won’t have the money. It was his employers job to insure he was properly trained and able to handle the responsibility for holding the lives of so many people in his hands.

    $14k is an insult.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      That’s about where I am at on this story as well. This wasn’t an accident. I’m surprised a lot of people don’t seem to think it was a big deal if they weren’t physically hurt. It would be more understandable if it were an accient due to weather or some other kind of natural occurance, but “the captian got drunk and stupid” isn’t even remotely on that list.

  10. Herbz says:

    I think the big kicker for those on the ship is that this wasn’t “an accident”.. it was NEGLIGENCE.

    I’d expect something more like 30k per passenger + cost of cruise (if that hasn’t already been refunded…)

    • Sparkstalker says:

      The original article mentions that this is on top of travel and cruise reimbursements.

      Breaking it down, I’d have lost about $4500 worth of stuff, depending on what I had on me at the time. Most of that would be camera gear :/

  11. crispyduck13 says:

    I’m more curious about how the crew is compensated, if at all. The families of the dead would probably be negotiated with privately by the company (I would hope).

    For the record I think 14k plus medical expenses is pretty good, but I wasn’t traumatized on a sinking ship so my opinion doesn’t mean much.

  12. maxamus2 says:

    If my wife and I were on the ship and we got $30k plus reimbursed for travel and medical I’d be estatic. I also have a story to tell my grandkids (that is, if I were to reproduce). This is VERY adequate for someone who wasn’t injured.

  13. tungstencoil says:

    I gotta say, as awful as it is….

    If you weren’t hurt (or hurt mildly), and this is in addition to travel and medical expenses, this seems reasonable (assuming they refund the cruise price as well – $15K minus ~5K for the cruise isn’t quite as compelling). The fact is, sometimes Bad Things Happen. Sometimes those Bad Things are due to human error.

    As someone else aptly pointed out, suing the cruise line into oblivion isn’t a really great option. Do they deserve to be punitively punished? Yes. Do they deserve to go out of business? No.

    While I fully believe they are responsible to a point for the Captain’s actions (since he is their employee, and is highly trained and skilled), I think that responsibility ends at the point he went so far outside the realm of rational. At that point, he was a single bad actor, and deserves (if news stories are to be believed) to be prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished.

    • StarKillerX says:

      I agree, $14k plus expenses for an uninjured person seems like a very nice offer. Was it scary? I’m sure it was, but if you end up alive and well afterwards just count your blessings, take the money and get on with your life.

      The article implying that uninjured people should get more money because someone else was killed in simply moronic!

  14. 420greg says:

    I would settle for free Carnival cruises for life.

    Just keep your self booked year around and you would have no other expenses.

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      Until another ship capsizes, and you’re on it, but this time you die. I mean, not impossible, though highly improbable.

  15. Geekybiker says:

    Seems low for negligence. Always beware of unsolicited offers from insurance, etc. They know they have a big liability and are hoping you jump at an offer that’s much less than a court would award.

  16. levelone says:

    I think $14000 is pretty paltry for what they went through. This ship was larger than the Titanic and it’s only due to chance that more people didn’t die. Had it been in deeper water, the ship would be completely underwater and it probably would’ve been Titanic Part II. The captain is a bastard of the grandest proportions. He royally fucked up, tried to hide his mistake, wasted precious time that should have been spent evacuating people – which caused people to die – then he abandoned ship, leaving the crew and passengers to save themselves in the dark, on a sideways ship longer than 3 football fields. It was chaos, with people jumping off the side of the ship to save themselves. There was no direction, no coordination, it was literally every person for themselves.

    To say that anyone should be happy with $14000 (or less) because they didn’t die or sustain physical injury is bullshit. They survived a legitimate, real life, trufax disaster. It was caused by a perfect storm of negligence and cowardice. They deserve as much as they can get. I feel really sorry for the crew, who will probably get nothing and they went through just as much as the passengers.

  17. isileth says:

    Italian law is different as regards damages.
    You don’t get millions if you are in relatively good health and you lost just property.