Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Huh? Personal Injury Lawyers Pounce on Cruise Ship Disaster: I know Mitch Proner; he went to college with my wife. My question is, how does a New York lawyer inject himself into a pretty clearly Italian case:

Legal experts said the plaintiffs will face high hurdles in keeping a lawsuit in a U.S. court. They point to clauses in Costa passenger tickets requiring that claims involving cruises that don’t touch a U.S. port be brought in Genoa, Italy, where the owner of the Concordia is based. Clauses specifying venue for lawsuits are widely used in the cruise-ship industry — and typically require that cases be brought near the jurisdiction where the cruise line is based. U.S. courts have often upheld those clauses. But Proner and Bern say they will argue that this case is so egregious that those provisions should not apply.

Well, I guess it's a creative argument that the contract should not apply because negligence or harm was "egregious," but let's say that it's a long shot argument, at best. I suppose one could make claim against Carnival in Florida, which is what one set of lawyers has done. But there seem to be contractual limitations on where claims can be filed for injury or breach of contract as a result of the shipboard experience. If so, I suggest that what we are seeing is a grandstanding PR campaign by these lawyers.

Frankly, I never once thought that I had any business trying to attract victims of this tragedy. Now maybe I would have if the ship had sunk off the coast of [landlocked] Tennessee, but, uh, that's not likely to happen.

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