Class action suit to be filed in Costa Concordia disaster

CNN reports that rescue workers recovered two additional bodies from the Costa Concordia on Monday. The confirmed death toll of the cruise ship accident is now 15. A further 17 people have not been accounted for.

Divers found the two victims, both women, near the Costa Concordia’s Internet café, according to Franco Gabrielli, the official heading up the rescue/salvage operation.

Gabrielli painted a gruesome picture of the challenges divers face, comparing the scene inside the ship to a refrigerator deprived of electricity an extended period.

In addition to the human toll, the operation must contend with potential environmental risks stemming from the large quantities of oil, fuel and other chemical pollutants still inside the ship. The salvagers have arranged booms around the ship to prevent further contamination.

A class-action lawsuit is expected to be filed in Florida on behalf of survivors, victims, and their families. The suit will name both Costa and its parent company, Carnival, as defendants. According to Mitchell Proner, a senior partner with one of two firms expected to take part in the suit, the evacuation was disordered, characterizing some of the survivors’ stories as “horrific.” He anticipates that the suit will seek approximately $160,000 per passenger in damages.