Lawsuits filed in Costa Concordia wreck

A photo taken on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012 of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia on its starboard side after running aground off the coast of the Isola del Giglio island, Italy, gashing open the hull and forcing some 4,200 people aboard to evacuate aboard lifeboats. As of January 28, 17 people were confirmed dead, with several still missing. AP Photo/Giuseppe Modesti

MIAMI — Six Costa Concordia passengers have filed lawsuits in U.S. federal court in Miami seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit filed Friday seeking $460 million in damages names Costa Cruise Lines and its parent company Carnival Corp. Both companies have offices in South Florida.

The attorney representing the six passengers told The Miami Herald that the stress of the disaster off Italy's coast will never leave many of the passengers.

Costa has said it will reimburse passengers for travel expenses and medical expenses. The company is also offering uninjured passengers about $14,460 each to compensate for lost luggage and psychological trauma.

On Friday, the first known lawsuit by one of the Concordia's crew members, Gary Lobaton of Peru, was filed in Chicago federal court, accusing Carnival and Costa of negligence because of an unsafe evacuation, and is seeking class-action status.

Cruise passengers offered $14K compensation
Cruise passengers offered $14K compensation

In Italy, some consumer groups have already signed on as injured parties in the criminal case against the Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, who is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all those aboard were evacuated.

Schettino, who is under house arrest, deviated from the ship's charted course to bring the Concordia closer to Giglio, gashing the hull on a reef a few hundred meters offshore. He has said the reef wasn't on his nautical charts.

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