The Italian cruise ship tragedy has left 11 people dead and 21 missing. As details emerge of the ship’s captain Francesco Schettino, many are left wondering the fate of the Costa Concordia’s future. Costa Concordia’s parent company, Carnival, has suffered a 14% loss in shares. Many speculate the accident would have a major impact on wary travelers. The accountability of the Captain, coupled with safety regulations and procedures of the cruise line, may leave Carnival with multitude of law suits. Full article.

Wrongful death is a claim against a person who can be held liable for a death that is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives. New York’s wrongful death statute, EPTL §5-4.1, provides that the personal representative of the estate has the right to sue for pecuniary loss on behalf of the distributees. Damages are determined by the court in an amount it deems to be fair and just compensation for pecuniary injuries resulting from the decedent’s death. It calls attention to reasonable expenses for medical aid, nursing, and funeral expenses, “in addition to every other lawful element.” Punitive damages, designed to punish the defendant in cases of recklessness or depravity, are allowed. A wrongful death cause of action must be filed within two years of the date of death. It is important to consult with an experienced estate attorney if you believe you have a possible wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.

The attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. have worked with a variety of families in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island. For questions regarding probate and estate planning, please contact an attorney at the Leeds Brown Law, P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-888-556-2529 or visit the firm’s website at