A quick follow-up to our recent post regarding the filing of several suits in the United States stemming from the sinking of the cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA. Last week, the first of several claims filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, a class action on behalf of over 1,000 Italian businesses affected by the COSTA CONCORDIA disaster, was dismissed on Forum Non-Conveniens grounds.
Despite Plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony that the claim would take between 15 and 20 years to filter through the Italian court system to finality and that there was not a class status available for Plaintiffs under Italian law, the Court found that the Italian forum was adequate and available to Plaintiffs. In addition, the Court found that the U.S. was not the proper forum to determine a primarily Italian dispute between an Italian company and Italian businesses and citizens.Plaintiffs’ arguments that Costa Lines’s parent company, Carnival, (here in the U.S.) was an alter-ego its subsidiary did not carry the day.The Court found them to be “closely related” but separate and distinct entities.
Read the full Order of the court here: http://www.americanmaritimecases.com/assets/SDFla/Costa-Concordia2.pdf