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Car crash: confirm who the driver was.

04-01-2019

The definition of who was ultimately the driver in a car is not always clear. There are cases where the driver is ejected out of the vehicle and the co-driver...

€525,000 for work accident of 24 years’ old

14-10-2018

The court awarded an indemnity of €150,000 euros to each of his parents and €75,000 euros to each of his three siblings.  The unfortunate young man worked as a plumber...

Medical mistakes: the frequent case of Cauda Equina Syndrome

05-08-2018

The cauda equina is Latin for ‘horse’s tail’ which describes the collection of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord. These nerves are particularly vulnerable to injury because they...

Traffic Police Autopsy Report and Accident Sketch.

11-06-2018

  The Accident Sketch is an essential element in the discovery of fault in a claim for traffic accident compensation.If the Accident Reconstruction Sketch is not accurate, this can have detrimental...

€ 348,800 for death at birth in a public maternity hospital.

11-03-2018

The verdict of the Athens Court of Appeal granted indemnity of € 205,050 to the newborn daughter of a 42-year-old mother who died of a medical mistake, for mental anguish...

€350,000 for tragic death of infant

16-01-2018

  The 1st Department of the Greek State Council ratified a decision by the Administrative Court of Ioannina and awarded an indemnity for medical mistake to both parents, siblings, the grandfather...

Accident Injury Claims: the multi-vehicle case

06-11-2017

  Almost one-third of car accidents in the US involve multi-vehicle accidents, otherwise referred as multi-vehicle collisions or pile-ups. This may involve cars, trucks, motorcycles, travel trailers all crashing into each other...

560.000 € compensation from Greek hospital for medical error

03-09-2017

The final decision of the Supreme Council in February 2017, ended the litigation involving the conviction of four doctors (imprisonment from 10-18 months) and compensation to the parents of a...

Millions for medical mistake compensation in Cyprus

25-06-2017

Millions for medical mistake compensation in Cyprus The amount of € 2.4 million plus interest, had to be paid by the two state hospitals of Limassol and Nicosia in reference to...

Accidents at work: when employee reimburses employer!

15-07-2016

Two Greek Supreme Court decisions create legal precedents and recognize shared responsibility to an employee and provided the option to compensate the employer for damages caused due to an accident...

Greek State Claim: 700,000 € to soldier

20-06-2016

After a long legal battle of 12 years, Division A of the State Council (COE) rejected the appeal of the Greek State and upheld the decision of the Court of...

572,000 € due to wrong cancer diagnosis

25-05-2016

The Higher First Instance Court of Thessaloniki, with its 16591/2015 decision, awarded to a 71 years old lady the amount of € 572,000 as compensation and imposed to the defendants...

1,6 million € for wrong diagnosis and errors of Greek public hospital.

03-04-2016

A final, historic decision-vindication for a series of errors and omissions of a Greek public hospital. One more claim case of medical negligence which with thorough medical documentation and combative...

Compensation for death due to wrong diagnosis of drug side effects

13-03-2016

Wrong diagnosis can be caused when doctors either are not aware or do not take into account drug side effects when prescribing a drug or examining a patient. Especially when...

€ 830.000 for death of soldier

30-01-2016

It concerns the relatives of a 20 years old soldier of armored vehicles from Thessaloniki who died in Alexandroupolis due to medical error. The military and administrative courts awarded the...

Deadly Car Accident

07-11-2015

Deadly Traffic Accidents Claims of deadly traffic accidents are the most demanding because they are unfortunately the most tragic. In cases where the victims are close friends or relatives who rode...

Non-material damage vs. Pain and suffering in Greece

30-10-2015

Non-material damage or Moral damage or Non material Harm and Pain and suffering or Mental anguish or Mental Distress or Pretium Doloris are concepts that are often confused.Although they have...

Landmark decision for Medical Negligence in Greece

10-10-2015

600.000 € compensation to be paid by Evangelismos hospital in Athens for patient death due to infection in the intensive care unit. The case is very important because 1,000 patients...

€ 660,000 plus monthly expenses, court costs and interest.

19-09-2015

For this medical negligence case of sleeve gastrectomy, compensation was awarded to parents of an obese student of the Athens National Technical University who suffered a serious brain damage after...

326.150 € to nurse for accident at work

06-09-2015

The Greek Council of State confirmed the decision of Court of Appeals awarding compensation amounting to EUR 60.150 and monthly payment of EUR 500 up to 266,000 euros to a...

Compensation from Insurance Guarantee Fund

03-08-2015

It seems that the plenum of the Supreme Court will eventually determine the amount of damages granted to the relatives of victims of uninsured cars. This compensation is provided by...

Τραγωδία στη Ρόδο: Ταχύπλοο διαμέλισε 37χρονη Ρωσίδα

02-08-2015

Ο 42χρονος Ελβετός, χειριστής του σκάφους, υποστήριξε ότι σταμάτησε όταν άκουσε το ισχυρό χτύπημα - Ωστόσο ένας από τους έξι σκιέρ είπε ότι έκαναν έρευνα στην περιοχή, δεν βρήκαν τίποτε...

Work Accidents in Greece: statistics and claimed damages

08-06-2015

Although the number of accidents is decreasing in recent years in Greece, in 2013 and 2014 they increased! While in 2010 we had the highest number of accidents with 5.721cases...

Lack of helmet. Contributory negligence?

09-05-2015

In several decisions the Greek courts have refused to attribute co liability ( therefore reducing the compensation to be paid) to the motorcycle passenger who rode without wearing a helmet...

Taxation of compensation from car accident

27-04-2015

The compensation stipulated by a court or agreed out-of-court consists of many different amounts associated with different causes. There are frequently asked questions about what really applies and in this...

Work Accident in Rhodes: 25.000 € compensation

24-04-2015

Rhodes First Instance Court with its the decision of 135/2010 awarded € 25,000 total compensation, of which 13,000 € is immediately enforceable, to the employee who suffered an accident in...

Motorcycle accident and co-liability

19-04-2015

A main theme in claiming damages from a traffic accident is the attribution of co-liability to another part. The "ideal" case where it is totally clear whose fault it is...

Tires: Burst – Vehicle Diversion

09-04-2015

The jurisprudence of the Greek Courts has held that the burst of a tyre which results in a car getting out of of its normal course does not constitute a...

800.000€ compensation for AIDS infection

05-04-2015

The Administrative Thessaloniki Court of Appeals with its decision of 2013 adjudicated the sum of 800.000€ in damages to a 25-year-old woman who had been infected by the AIDS virus...

133.415 € for two fingers mutilated by firecracker

22-03-2015

During clashes between rivals that took place in basketball match The Council of State adopted the first instance verdict which awarded compensation due to improper exercise of police duties for the...

Doctor forced to pay 584.400 € for the death of a 32 years old pregnant.

09-03-2015

The Supreme Court forced an obstetrician-gynecologist to pay the amount of € 584.400 to the relatives of the woman who died shortly before the birth of third child due to...

Claim for labor accident against the Greek State.

07-03-2015

A worker died while performing the work of window cleaner in the hospital "Metaxa" in Piraeus. Due to non-compliance with the statutory safety measures, the worker fell from a great...

Traffic accident with vehicle not clearly uninsured.

04-03-2015

There are traffic accidents involving a vehicle for which there is documented disagreement between the insurance and the owner whether there is valid insurance coverage or not. The insurance could...

Co-responsible the co-driver if aware that the driver is drunk.

05-02-2015

By 30% in the case of a traffic accident The co-driver who knows that a driver is drunk and nevertheless accepts to board, shares the responsibility by 30% in the case...

Sea Diamond, αποζημιώσεις

18-01-2015

Το κρουαζιερόπλοιο βυθίστηκε στις 5 Απριλίου 2007στον όρμο του Αθηνιου στην Σαντορίνη μετά απο πρόσκρουση σε ύφαλο στον όρμο των Φηρών. Μετέφερε 1163 επιβάτες και 391 μέλη του πληρώματος. Ολοι...

Costa Concordia: Settling the victims' claims

12-01-2015

Introduction On January 13 2012 the Costa Concordia capsized while carrying around 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members; 32 people were killed in the accident. The disaster is one of the...

Trucking or bus accidents in Greece

08-01-2015

Accidents with trucks and buses are different from traditional automobile accidents for a number of reasons. A wide range of evidence The wide range of evidence available in a trucking or bus...

165,000 € for death of a patient at Erithros Stavros Hospital of Athens

05-01-2015

Korgialeneio-Benakio's conviction for the death of a patientCompensation of 165,000 € to the relatives of an injured man who died. The doctors did not diagnose brain injury. He was transferred...

Neck injury, "whiplash" injury in Greece

04-01-2015

This neck injury is also known as acceleration - deceleration injury or injury of sudden hyperextension. This term is used when the neck is injured from a sudden movement due to...

Plastic Surgery and Medical Malpractice in Greece.

02-01-2015

The aim of plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, or cosmetic surgery is to make you look and feel better. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are cases where the...

Surgical Errors in Greece and Medical Malpractice

02-01-2015

Α surgical procedure is supposed to make one feel better; the last thing on one's mind was that the surgery was going to leave him/her worse instead of better. Unfortunately...

Greece Medical Negligence: pregnancy, labor and birth.

02-01-2015

During pregnancy, labor, birth and the period immediately after birth, the mother and baby should be continuously monitored for hazardous conditions, such as hypoxia (inadequate oxygen intake and inadequate tissue...

Hospital or Clinic Negligence in Greece

02-01-2015

The word "malpractice", is usually linked with a physician, nurse, respiratory therapist, pharmacist or other healthcare provider that was responsible for a mistake, act of negligence, injury, or death. However...

Medical error in Greece due to wrong diagnosis

02-01-2015

Irreparable damage in the hands of professionals who you trust. Imagine the irreparable harm that arises when a patient goes to the Emergency Department with symptoms such as chest pain and...

Medical Malpractice in Greece: Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

02-01-2015

The Medical code of conduct imposes the thorough examination of the patient and requires taking all measures to clarify any suspicions of a serious illness. Cancer is the disease with the...

Traffic Accidents in Greece with Uninsured, Stolen or Hit & Run drivers.

26-12-2014

It can be traumatic enough to be involved in a Road Accident but if the person at fault for the accident turns out not to be insured to drive the...

Every medical error in Greece “costs” 305,000 euros

13-12-2014

At 30 billion Dollars annually is estimated the cost of medical errors in America, in Britain the equivalent amount reaches 400 million Pounds, while in Greece an up to date...

Reconstructing a Pedestrian-Car Accident

03-12-2014

The July 2014 issue of Plaintiff Magazine discussed the usual evidence and injury issues related to pedestrian-car accidents. The article brings to light the litigation stages at which an expert...

Fewer deaths from traffic accidents in 2014.

03-12-2014

Greece has the highest percentage of traffic accidents in Europe. Although fewer than 600 people are estimated to have lost their lives in traffic accidents in Greece in 2014, a...

Compensation 550,000 for accident due to illegal outdoor advertising sign

27-11-2014

Fine of 550,000 euro to be paid by the Greek StateSupreme Court did justice to the relatives of a 18 year old who died in a car which crashed due...

Supreme Court: Solatium of 100,000 € for work accident

24-11-2014

Milestone decision of the Supreme Court for work related accidents (decision No 703/2013)This decision clarifies that the conditions for compensation for damages suffered by the victim are different than those...

Compensation for medical negligence keep on increasing

23-11-2014

Accelerating increasing trends are recorded, especially in the last two to three years, in the damages awarded by the courts in patients who have suffered damage to their health or...

Compensation of 1.303.000€ for medical error includes father and mother in law

21-11-2014

Court decision: father in law and mother in law are entitled to compensation for damages in the event of death of the groom or the bride. Department Α of the State...

EUR 400.000 compensation for medical error

16-11-2014

EUR 400.00 compensation for medical mistake leading to death of 27years oldAfter a 10 years court battle Greece's Supreme Court awarded EUR 400,000 as compensation to the parents of a...

Guild in crash during overtaking.

17-10-2014

Each case is unique and the experts that will called upon to express their opinion on the events will play a major role. In a case of a motorcycle that was...

Ποιοί από την οικογένεια δικαιούνται αποζημίωση.

14-10-2014

Σε περιπτωση θανάτου ο νόμος ορίζει μέσω του άρθρου 932, εδάφιο 3 του Αστικού Κώδικα ότι η οικογένεια του θύματος μπορεί να λάβει χρηματική ικανοποίηση λόγω ψυχικής οδύνης. Τι ισχύει όμως...

Monetary limit of liability of the insurance.

14-10-2014

Many victims of accidents wonder what is the monetary limit of liability of the insurance of the vehicle that caused their injury. In principle the responsibility of the insurance is...

Traffic accident abroad. In which court will you turn to?

14-10-2014

Increasingly many Greeks are traveling abroad with their cars. It is not unlikely for a traffic accident to happen in these trips. Amicable settlement covers several cases of damage. But in...

Τροχαίο από οδηγό με δίπλωμα που έληξε.

14-10-2014

Τι συμβαίνει στην περίπτωση που σας χτυπήσει όχημα του οποίου ο οδηγός δεν έχει ανανεώσει την ισχύ του διπλώματος του; Η κάθε περίπτωση είναι διαφορετική και κάποιος ειδικός θα πρέπει να...

Oil on the road. Responsibility of the Greek State?

13-10-2014

The State and its institutions are indeed responsible for warning of oils on the road as well as undertaking the necessary steps to regulate traffic and cleaning. If necessary, they...

Τροχαίο ατύχημα σε περιοχή έργων.

13-10-2014

Η σήμανση των οδών κατα την διάρκεια των έργων ειναι πολύ σημαντική. Ειδικά κατά τη διάρκεια της νύχτας που η ορατότητα ειναι περιορισμένη. Η υπεύθυνη εταιρεία για τη εκτέλεση των...

Συνυπαιτιότητα αν σας χτυπήσουν και έχετε πιεί;

12-10-2014

Η μέθη ειναι μια ουσιαστική παράβαση του Κώδικα Οδικης Κυκλοφοριας και είναι η αιτία για πολλές άδικες απώλειες ζωής και τραυματισμούς. Για τον λόγο αυτό θα πρέπει με κάθε τρόπο...

Ατύχημα απο οδηγό με διεθνές δίπλωμα;

11-10-2014

Ενα γενικότερο θέμα που απασχολεί κάποια θύματα τροχαίων είναι η περίπτωση που ο οδηγός δεν έχει άδεια οδήγησης της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης αλλά κάποιο Διεθνές Δίπλωμα Οδήγησης. Στην προκειμένη περίπτωση η ασφαλιστική...

Συνυπαιτιότητα αν ο οδηγός δεν προσπαθήσει να αποφύγει τροχαιο;

11-10-2014

Συχνά οι ασφαλιστικές εταιρείες υποστηρίζουν οτι ένα όχημα στο οποίο προσέκρουσε ο πελάτης τους είχε την υποχρέωση να κάνει ελιγμό για να αποφύγει την σύγκρουση και για αυτό πρέπει το...

Τροχαίο λόγω ελιγμών αποφυγής ζώου.

11-10-2014

Υπάρχουν περιπτώσεις που ατυχήματα συμβαίνουν λόγω απώλειας ελέγχου του οχήματος η παρέκλησης της πορείας στην προσπάθεια του οδηγού να αποφύγει κινούμενο ζώο που βρίσκεται στο οδόστρωμα. Καταρχήν ειναι συχνά αδύνατο να...

Ατύχημα απο κλαρκ: τροχαίο η εργατικό ατυχημα;

28-09-2014

Το ατύχημα έλαβε χώρα στην Πρέβεζα με αποτέλεσμα τον θάνατο ενος λιμενεργάτη. Το κλαρκ μετέφερε σε παρακείμενο χώρο δέματα ξυλείας που απέθετε ένας γερανός εκφορτωνοντας τα απο ενα πλοίο. Προσπαθώντας...

Αποζημίωση θανάτου πεζού με καρκίνο.

07-09-2014

Η κυρία, ετών 83, παρασύρθηκε από μοτοποδήλατο ενώ διέσχιζε ένα βράδυ τον δρόμο χωρίς να χρησιμοποιήσει διάβαση πεζών. Για τον λόγο αυτό της αποδόθηκε συνυπευθυνότητα 30%. Ο τραυματισμός ήταν σοβαρός...

387.000€ για ανήλικο θύμα τροχαίου

02-09-2014

Το παιδί ήταν μόλις 4,5 ετών όταν έχασε το κατω δεξί άκρο του ενώ παράλληλα είχε και άλλες συνέπειες στην υγεία του που όρισαν την μόνιμη αναπηρία του στο 80%...

211.000 € αποζημίωση σε τραυματισμένο μοτοσυκλετιστή

23-08-2014

Ο οδηγός της μοτοσυκλετας τραυματίστηκε στα δύο του πόδια μετά από σύγκρουση με αυτοκίνητο το οποίο είχε πλήρη υπαιτιότητα. Υποβλήθηκε σε πολλαπλές εγχειρήσεις, είχε μερική αναπηρία κάτω απο 10%, χρειάστηκε...

141.000€ σε οικογένεια συνυπεύθυνου τροχαίου

16-08-2014

Το ατύχημα έλαβε χώρα στην Ημαθεία ενα χειμωνιάτικο βράδυ όταν αυτοκίνητο έπεσε σε τρακτέρ που ρυμουλκούσε γεωργικό μηχάνημα και το οποίο είχε ακινητοποιηθεί στον δρόμο, με αποτέλεσμα να τραυματιστεί θανάσιμα...

280.000 € αποζημίωση τροχαίου όπου δεν άνοιξε ο αερόσακος

29-07-2014

Ο Άρειος Πάγος με την υπ' αριθμ. 500/2010 απόφασή του επιδίκασε ως αποζημίωση για ψυχική οδύνη το ποσό των 200.000 ευρώ στους γονείς και 80.000 ευρώ στην αδελφή 22χρόνου, ο...

50.000 € σε εργαζόμενο σε τσιμεντοβιομηχανία

27-07-2014

Βιομηχανίες και επιχειρήσεις έχουν την υποχρέωση να παίρνουν όλα τα απαραίτητα προληπτικά μέτρα ώστε να διασφαλίζουν υγιεινές συνθήκες εργασίας. Σε αντίθετη περίπτωση, έχουν ευθύνη για τις βλάβες που μπορεί να...

100.000€ σε συγγενείς οδηγού ΙΧ που έπεσε σε ακάλυπτο φρεάτιο

25-07-2014

Το ποσό των 100.000 ευρώ επιδίκασε ο Άρειος Πάγος σε συγγενείς οδηγού, που έχασε τη ζωή της σε τροχαίο μετά την πτώση του ΙΧ της σε ακάλυπτο φρεάτιο.Το ποσό των...

50.000€ σε μαθητευόμενο που έχασε δύο δάχτυλα

13-07-2014

«Βαριά καμπάνα» του Αρείου Πάγου σε αρτοποιό. Ο Αρειος Πάγος άνοιξε με απόφασή του το δρόμο για να εισπράξει αποζημίωση 50.000 ευρώ ένας 18χρονος μαθητευόμενος αρτοποιός,ο οποίος έχασε τα δύο...

Αποζημίωση 2.000 ευρώ για δάγκωμα σκύλου

03-07-2014

Αποζημίωση 2.000 ευρώ θα δώσει ο Δήμος Βόλου σε δικηγόρο που έπεσε θύμα επίθεσης από αδέσποτο σκυλί. Το Τριμελές Διοικητικό Πρωτοδικείο Βόλου δικαίωσε τον πολίτη, ο οποίος αρχικά ζητούσε να...

Awards for claims for incredible medical errors in surgery at Greek hospitals

03-07-2014

These are medical mistakes that took place during surgery at Greek hospitals. Five examples are described at Greek daily Ethnos, including lack of prompt response to the change of medical condition...

Αποζημιώσεις 1 εκ. για δύο εργατικά ατυχήματα

02-07-2014

Αποζημιώσεις 1 εκ. για δύο εργατικά ατυχήματαΤο δικαστήριο τιμώρησε αστικά τους επιβλέποντες μηχανικούς και εργολάβους που κατά την ανέγερση δύο οικοδομών δεν πήραν τα απαραίτητα μέτρα ασφαλείαςΣτην περίπτωση του οικοδόμου...

Αποζημίωση σε μοτοσικλετιστή για τραυματισμό λόγω καθίζησης οδοστρώματος

01-07-2014

Αποζημίωση σε μοτοσυκλετιστή για τραυματισμό λόγω καθίζησης οδοστρώματος

Aποζημίωση μετά από συμβιβασμό σε τροχαίο

30-06-2014

Όταν ένα οδηγός αυτοκινήτου ευθύνεται για την πρόκληση τροχαίου ατυχήματος, με συνέπεια τραυματισμό ή θάνατο, υλικές ζημίες κλπ., η ασφαλιστική εταιρεία του ζημιογόνου οχήματος υποχρεούται σε αποζημίωση των θυμάτων ή...

Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο Γερμανίας: το κράνος παραμένει προαιρετικό

29-06-2014

Απόφαση του Ανώτατου Δικαστηρίου της Γερμανίας για ζημιά από ατύχημα: Οι ποδηλάτες χωρίς κράνος θα έχουν πλήρη αξίωση αποζημίωσης.Εάν ένας ποδηλάτης εμπλακεί χωρίς υπαιτιότητα του σε ένα ατύχημα, έχει πλήρες...

30.000 € for loss of one eye due to dentist's tragic error.

29-06-2014

Greece's Supreme Court awarded one 37-year old woman who lost sight in one eye because of the tragic mistake of a dentist. The social worker was compensated with 30,000 euros...

146.000 € from doctor to patient who died.

28-06-2014

Greece's Supreme Court upheld the verdict of Thessaloniki Court of Appeal which obliges a surgeon doctor to pay 146,735 euros as compensation to relatives of the patient who died from...

270.000 € σε συγγενείς θύματος τροχαίου

25-06-2014

Το Διοικητικό Πρωτοδικείο Αθηνών έκανε δεκτή αγωγή συγγενών 18χρονου, ο οποίος είχε σκοτωθεί σε τροχαίο στη Λεωφόρο Κηφισίας και τους επιδίκασε αποζημίωση 270.000 ευρώ, λόγω παραλείψεων οργάνων του ΕΚΑΒ.Σύμφωνα με...

ΚΑΤ: €400.000 για ιατρική αμέλεια

24-06-2014

Αποζημίωση-μαμούθ ύψους 400.000 ευρώ θα πληρώσει το νοσοκομείο ΚΑΤ στην οικογένεια νεαρού θύματος τροχαίου, λόγω ιατρικής αμέλειας με αποτέλεσμα το θάνατό του. Το ποσό επιδίκασε ως αποζημίωση στους οικείους του...

Αποζημίωση 6.000 € για μία... σοκολάτα

22-06-2014

Αποζημίωση δικαιούνται οι καταναλωτές για τα ελαττωματικά προϊόντα, όχι μόνο γιατί ένα χαλασμένο τρόφιμο μπορεί να προκαλέσει βλάβη στην υγεία τους, αλλά γιατί η παραγωγός ή προμηθεύτρια εταιρεία του προϊόντος...

6.000 € αποζημίωση από πτώση σε φρεάτιο

22-06-2014

Σε αποζημίωση 6.000 ευρώ καταδίκασε στον Δήμο Βόλου το Διοικητικό Πρωτοδικείο για βαρύτατες κακώσεις, που υπέστη 86χρονη από την πτώση της μέσα σε φρεάτιο, εξαιτίας κακοτεχνιών σε κεντρικό πεζόδρομο.Το ατύχημα...

Αποζημίωση-«μαμούθ» για παιδικό ατύχημα

20-06-2014

Αποζημίωση-«μαμούθ», που με τους νόμιμους τόκους μπορεί να ξεπεράσει τα 700.000 ευρώ, οφείλει να καταβάλει δήμος στην οικογένεια ενός τετράχρονου παιδιού που πριν από 13 χρόνια έχασε με τραγικό τρόπο...

Aποζημίωση 753.470 € για 19χρονο

16-06-2014

Το Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας επικύρωσε αποζημίωση 753.470 ευρώ, σε πατέρα 19χρονου, που έχασε τη ζωή του όταν μοτοσυκλέτα στην οποία ήταν συνεπιβάτης προσέκρουσε σε μπάζα που είχε εγκαταλείψει εργολάβος πάνω...

500.000 € σε 51χρονο οικοδόμο

12-06-2014

Το ποσό των 500.000 ευρώ θα αναγκαστεί να καταβάλει κατασκευαστική εταιρεία σε 51χρονο οικοδόμο, ο οποίος έμεινε ανάπηρος κατά 80%, ύστερα από εργατικό ατύχημα.

Ψυχική Οδύνη 580.000 €

18-05-2014

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Costa Concordia: Settling the victims' claims

costa concordia

Introduction

On January 13 2012 the Costa Concordia capsized while carrying around 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members; 32 people were killed in the accident. The disaster is one of the worst in the cruise industry's recent history, and will likely be the largest marine insurance loss on record.

Costa Cruises, which operated the Concordia, initially offered survivors a 30% discount off future cruises, but the proposal was dismissed as "insulting", so Costa subsequently offered €11,000 (around $14,250) in compensation to uninjured passengers for items lost and any psychological damages, plus a further €3,000 for reimbursement of costs incurred after the event.

Settlement

An agreement was reached with virtually all of the Italian consumers' associations and defence organisations, with the exception of Codacons, which has launched class action claims on behalf of passengers and victims against the parent company Carnival, requesting £105,000 for each passenger. Similar agreements have been reached in other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom and France, where the settlement has been more complex and time consuming than Costa expected.

Costa had set a deadline of February 14 2012 (only a month after the event) for the acceptance of the offer, but FENVAC (the French national federation of the victims of catastrophes), which represented a large number of passengers, contended that this deadline was too close and unreasonable. FENVAC sought an order from the Court of Nanterre to extend the deadline for the acceptance of the offer; the application was upheld and the order was confirmed by the Court of Appeal of Versailles following Costa's appeal.

To date, about 65% of the passengers have accepted the settlement offer, but a large number of claims are still pending (as was predicted).Pending claimsThree crew members recently filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration of nullity for the settlement agreement, alleging that they signed it while in a vulnerable and psychologically impaired state and under financial constraints. They have also alleged that Costa implied that the crew members' acceptance of the settlement was a condition for their continued employment.

Furthermore, a family recently obtained an indemnity twice the amount of the quantum offered in the aftermath of the event (the sums acknowledged by Costa are €22,000 for each passenger). It is possible that this will prompt new claims and, in some instances, attempts to invalidate the previous settlements.

The sums agreed with Costa exceeded the average compensation awarded by Italian courts over the past decade in claims brought by uninjured passengers against travel organisers for breach of travel contracts (ie, the so-called 'ruined holiday' claims), but this case is exceptional: many passengers had to jump from the ship and swim to shore in cold waters and complete darkness. Some suffered physical injuries, while others claim that they have suffered psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares and flashbacks. Many passengers have claimed that the evacuation was very messy and chaotic, with crew members giving contradictory instructions and the captain delaying the evacuation order for a full hour after the event.

Costa (along with its insurers) has no doubt preferred to settle quickly the vast majority of the potential claims arising from this accident. The settlements that have been concluded thus far have been limited to uninjured passengers; the most serious casualties have brought actions in Italy and abroad (a class action has been filed in the United States seeking larger compensation and punitive damages).

Applicable liability regime

It has proven rather controversial to identify the liability regime applicable to the actions brought by the passengers and the relatives of the deceased. It has been alleged that the claims brought by the passengers are subject to the International Convention on Travel Contracts(1) and the EU Package Holiday Directive (90/314/EC), since the casualties occurred during a cruise included in a package offered by Costa.

Costa Crociere in fact submitted to the passengers a package incorporating Costa's general terms and conditions, the 2012 edition of which refers to the International Convention on Travel Contracts "unless there is a national or international regulation compulsorily applying to the stage or service in which the damage took place" (ie, the convention is referred to as a 'residual' regulation in case there is no mandatory domestic or international law applicable to the claim). Nevertheless, the application of the convention and the EU and Italian legislation on package tours and travel contracts is justified by the fact that although the accident occurred during the sea transit, this was part of a cruise offering a large array of activities.However, other claimants have alleged that Italian law – namely, the Navigation Code – should apply, since the accident occurred on a ship flying the Italian flag and inside Italian territorial waters, and the package tour was stipulated with an Italian company. In this case, there would be no limitation of liability for death or injuries, because the code contains no provision limiting the amount of damages that can be awarded in favour of a passenger or his or her relatives in case of death or injury.

Liquidation of damages

The position reached by Italian courts over the past two decades regarding compensation for death or serious injuries leans towards a progressive increase in the amount of compensatory damages. At present, it is not uncommon for the sums awarded to exceed considerably the limits applicable under the International Convention on Travel Contracts or the Athens Protocol.In addition to monetary damages, the courts have included a (sometimes confusing and unclear) array of non-monetary damages, while the class of parties entitled to claim non-monetary damages for a relative's death has substantially expanded.

However, the Italian Supreme Court recently issued several landmark decisions aimed at reorganising the subject matter and ensuring legal certainty and uniformity, holding that the criteria enshrined in the tables drafted and updated by the Court of Milan should be adopted throughout the country. According to these criteria, in case of a relative's death, claimants are entitled to seek compensation for non-monetary damages in excess of 400,000 special drawing rights.

Claims by foreign nationalsClaims brought by foreign nationals are subject to proof of reciprocity, pursuant to Article 16 of the general provisions of the Italian Civil Code. Article 16 states that "[t]he foreign national enjoys the same civil rights of the citizen upon condition of reciprocity and exception made for provisions contained in specific legislation".

However, the Supreme Court has progressively reduced the scope of Article 16, especially when dealing with mental and bodily integrity and unalienable rights, such as the rights to health and equitable compensation. Italian court practice no longer requires proof of reciprocity from EU citizens and foreign nationals legally residing in Italy. The Supreme Court recently held that the condition of reciprocity can be required only with regard to non-fundamental rights, since fundamental rights such as life, health and bodily integrity are enshrined in the Constitution and must be guaranteed regardless of nationality.

Furthermore, Italian court practice as of late has tackled issues arising from the necessary consideration of both the victims' social and economic conditions when determining damages and the cost of living in the country where the claimant is domiciled (if the action is brought by a foreign national). The Court of Turin recently held that the need to provide equal compensation to all victims cannot be satisfied by awarding equal amounts of money, regardless of the victim's financial situation, as this would entail an unjust enrichment of the victims living in countries with a lower cost of living. However, this issue is still disputed.

Giglio municipality claim

Finally, it has been clarified that a substantial claim will be made by the municipality of Giglio and the local community. Tourism fell by 28% in 2012 and although part of this reduction is probably due to the difficult economic climate, the large wreck still looming near the island's coast does not help to encourage the flow of tourists. The head of Italy's civil protection agency recently stated that officials are now looking at September as the likely date of the ship's removal (officials had originally hoped to remove the ship from Giglio's waters by early 2013).
Source: Munich Re Schadenspiegel 1/2013

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