Survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster are being offered a lump sum of €11,000 in compensation.
The offer, seen as an effort to deflect potential claims for damages against the operating company Costa Cruises, was made today.
It was made to around 3,000 passengers on the stricken ship which was carrying more than 4,200 people including crew when it struck rocks of the Italian island of Giglio on January 13.
The compensation package offer covers “all patrimonial and non-patrimonial damages, including loss of baggage and personal effects, psychological distress and loss of enjoyment of the cruise vacation”.
Costa is to also reimburse the cost of the cruise, air and bus transfers, travel, medical and any expenses incurred when on board.
But one consumer group, Codacons, has urged passengers not to accept the offer, Reuters news agency reports.
Codacons and two US law firms are filing a class-action lawsuit in the US against Carnivall Corporation owned Costa demanding at least $160,000 (£105,000) for each passenger on the ship.
Costa said: “This compensation package is higher than the current indemnification limits that are provided for in international conventions and the laws currently in force.
“The €11,000 lump-sum payment will be offered to all passengers, including non-paying children, regardless of their age.
“Costa has also pledged not to deduct any amount paid by any insurance policy stipulated by the guests from this sum. In addition, the company will return all goods stored in the cabin safes, where retrieval is possible.”
The payout follows negotiations with consumer associations protecting guests’ interests, and with the support of multiple tourism/travel-industry associations, according to the cruise line.
The company has agreed to offer passengers who booked before January 13 on any future cruise the option to cancel without penalty until February 7.
Costa added: “The families of the deceased and guests who were injured and required medical treatment on site will be covered under a separate proposal that will take into account their individual circumstances.”
At least 16 people died in the accident and a similar number are believed to be missing.
“Costa Crociere would like to express its profound condolences to the families of the victims, our continued sympathy to the families of the missing, and our deep regret and sorrow for the damages and hardship the Costa Concordia accident caused to all its guests,” a statement said.
Costa has blamed Captain Francesco Schettino for committing “grave errors of judgement” by steering the ship too close to Giglio on an “unauthorised manoeuvre."
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