This past week, the owners of the Costa Concordia offered stunningly low compensation to survivors of the wrecked cruise ship in the form of a 30 percent discount on future cruises. A spokesman for Costa Cruise said, “The company is not only going to refund everybody but they will offer a 30 [percent] discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company.”
As a Chicago personal injury lawyer, I find the company's response to be troubling on multiple levels. First, the survivors of the cruise ship disaster have experienced an extremely traumatic event, thus, boarding a cruise ship in the future will likely be stressful and unpleasant for many of them. Second, a full refund and a 30 percent discount are insufficient to compensate these individuals for the emotional distress they experienced as a result of the cruise ship company's negligence.
In fact, the cruise ship's offer is so inadequate that it has insulted many of the survivors, as evidenced by one survivor's reaction, “It is a ridiculous and insulting offer. I am very disappointed in them. They are not accepting their responsibilities at all. Our only back-up is separate legal action.” I trust that legal action will hold the cruise ship company accountable for its negligence and secure just compensation for the survivors.