Local Passengers Call $14,400 Cruise Ship Compensation Insulting
BOSTON (CBS) – How much is it worth to suffer through a terrifying cruise ship grounding? The operator of the Costa Concordia which ran aground off the coast of Italy January 13 has a price of $14,400, and is making an offer to passengers who were able to escape the tilting ship.
Sixteen people died in the disaster and more than a dozen are still missing. Many passengers are refusing to accept the deal, saying they can’t yet put a figure on the trauma they endured.
Divya and Sameer Sharma say the memories of their escape are still vivid, and they call it an “insult” that the company can estimate what that’s worth. “I’m very angry, very emotional and hurt about this. Slam, and put a price tag on it?” said Divya Sharma who says she still hears the cries of the passengers.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports
The couple was on board celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, and enjoying dinner in the dining room when disaster struck. They say crew members tried to block passengers from getting into life boats and left them in the dark as the boat was tilting.
“Since it was negligence we feel they betrayed us by telling us lies while were were on there,” said Sameer Sharma. They say it’s not about the money, though they did lose valuable family heirlooms, such as family jewelry, they brought as symbols for their celebration.
A quick settlement, they believe, lets the cruise line off too easy, and they may join a class action lawsuit instead. “Everybody needs a different closure. Until you get closure you can’t live with it, you can’t,” said Divya Sharma.
The offer would cover lost luggage and psychological trauma. The cost of the cruise and expenses to return home would also be reimbursed, as the company hopes to settle with as many as possible to fend off class action suits. Crew members, nearly 100 injured passengers, and the families of loved ones lost are not being made the offer.