In the wake of all the bad publicity after the Costa Concordia tragedy, the cruise industry has announced that it will initiate a new safety policy. Although the International Maritime Organization (IMO) allows 24 hours within sailing before the crew holds a muster drill to brief passengers on safety protocol, the new policy holds that the safety briefing must take place before the cruise liner sets sail.
The policy was announced via a joint statement by the Cruise Lines International Association, the European Cruise Council and the UK’s Passenger Shipping Association.
The announcement of the policy was greeted with substantial excitement, although it’s still largely a “common-sense” amendment. Because the IMO is the chief regulating body – and responsible for imposing penalties when violations occur – if the cruise lines fail to follow their own agreement, there will be no consequence.
This policy change does little to address the problems that prompted the Costa disaster, which have as much to do with safety policies not being adhered to as they do bad decision-making by the captain and cruise line itself. The new safety drill policy goes into effect immediately.
After the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster in January 2012, in which the cruise liner struck a rock while maneuvering dangerously close to the island of Giglio off the Tuscan coast, a multi-million dollar lawsuit has been filed.
At least 12 people have been confirmed dead, although only 8 of the bodies have been identified, and another 20 are still missing. A personal injury firm in New York has taken the case on behalf of 6 passengers – 2 from Florida, New York, and Italy each; an additional 33 passengers have been added to the filing. The plaintiffs are seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $450 million in punitive damages from Costa Cruise Lines and its parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines.
There has been no word as of yet if any of the ship’s crew will file for damages, but that door is still open to injured employees. Cruise ship owners have a legal obligation to provide medical care and a safe work environment for their employees, and for the purposes of the Jones Act and related compensation, most cruise employees – including casino workers, entertainers, cooks, servers and bartenders – are considered to be “seamen” and are thus eligible for maintenance and cure under the Jones Act and related maritime and admiralty laws.
Contact a Jones Act Attorney Who Can Help You after Maritime Accidents
The Jones Act law provides you with certain protections your employer may not want you to know about. An admiralty law attorney from The Young Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana, can help you if you have suffered boating accident injuries, an offshore accident or other injuries that fall under maritime law. Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims with their injury claims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide to what to do when you are injured offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker.
When you are ready to get started with your Jones Act injury case, we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation – call toll-free at 1-866-703-2590.