Carnival sued by crew member over cruise ship disaster

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 27, 2012 12:28 AM
Carnival sued by crew member over cruise ship disaster

(Reuters) - Carnival Corp, whose luxury cruise liner Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of Italy, was sued by a crew member in a first of what may be multiple U.S. lawsuits seeking class-action status over the disaster, court documents show.

Lawyers for Gary Lobaton, who was a crew member on board the Costa Concordia, said in a court filing that he was not aware of the "dangerous conditions" of the cruise ship until it was too late to abandon the ship.

The lawsuit sought to determine whether Carnival deviated from international safety standards when operating the cruise ship.

"Costa Concordia's Captain, Francesco Schettino, delayed the order to abandon ship and deploy the lifeboats," Lobaton's lawyers said in the filing.

Lobaton, who sued Carnival individually and on behalf of all others similarly affected by the cruise disaster, had sought damages from the company, according to the court filing.

Lobaton had also requested the court to assign class-action status to the lawsuit.

The 114,500-tonne ship capsized off the Tuscan coast, which left 11 people dead and 22 missing.

According to a January 24 BBC report, the number of dead has risen to 16.

Carnival could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

The case is Gary Lobaton vs Carnival Corp, Case No. 1:12-cv-00598, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)