US lawsuits target Carnival in Italy cruise crash

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Despite legal obstacles that might force them to sue in Italy, hundreds of Costa Concordia passengers and up to 1,000 businesses on the island where the capsized cruise ship ran aground are pressing ahead with U.S. lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from Miami-based Carnival Corp.

The lawsuits filed in both federal and state courts contend that Carnival is the corporate parent of the Costa brand, which operated the vessel, and is ultimately responsible for any safety violations, negligence or recklessness that may have led to the Jan. 13 accident that claimed 32 lives. Investigators say the ship rammed a reef while passing too close to Giglio Island, off Italy’s Tuscan coast.

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