German victim's family seeks $10m from cruise firm

Mon, Apr 2, 2012, 01:00

The legal implications of the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, in which 30 people died when the ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany in January, were felt in Texas last weekend. A court in Galveston first seized, and later released, the cruise liner Carnival Triumph, which is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, parent company of Costa Cruises, which sailed the Concordia.

Last Friday a $10 million dollar suit was filed against Carnival Cruise Lines by the relatives of a German woman, Siglinde Stumpf, who drowned in the shipwreck. Essentially, the suit aims to hold the parent company, Carnival, responsible for the inadequate safety procedures.

John Eaves, a lawyer for the victim’s family, has requested that the phone conversations on the night of the tragedy, involving ship officials and representatives of both the Carnival and Costa companies, be examined. Clearly, lawyers for Ms Stumpf’s family will argue that the delay in sounding the “abandon ship” cost lives.

Having first sequestered the Carnival Triumph on Friday, as precautionary “security”, a court in Galveston on Saturday then ruled that ship could sail out of port, bound for the Gulf of Mexico.

A spokesman for Carnival said yesterday that an agreement on the matter had been reached, without specifying the details.