Costa Concordia pays one million euros in plea bargain

Formal move, still faces huge damages claims

Costa Concordia pays one million euros in plea bargain

Grosseto, April 10 - The Costa Concordia cruise line on Wednesday paid one million euros in a plea bargain to free itself of culpability in a criminal trial into Italy's worst maritime disaster since the Second World War. But civil cases are still likely to leave it liable to pay huge sums to the relatives of the 32 victims of the January 2012 sinking off Tuscany after an allegedly rash manouevre by Captain Francesco Schettino. The company, which is already being sued in the United States, paid "an administrative sanction", a formality, to free itself of hostile claims in an upcoming trial. In that trial, whose date will be set next week, Costa is also standing as plaintiff against Schettino, dubbed 'Captain Coward' for abandoning ship, and several former executives. The Concordia hit a rock and sank after Schettino took it close to the island of Giglio to perform a 'salute' to residents. Schettino, who claims his actions allegedly saved more lives than were lost, is suing to get his job back.

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