This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case involving a personal injury lawsuit filed against Costa Cruises. Or is that Costa Cruise Line? Or was it Costa Crociere? That it the crux of the matter.
It seems the lawsuit named Costa Cruises as the respondent yet the fine print lists Costa Crociere (cruise in Italian) as the carrier - Costa Cruises being the U.S. agent for the cruise line which apparently is considered an independent contractor even though their name is on the website, advertising, cover documents for tickets, and dozens of other places. There is also a 1 year statute of limitation involved, and it seems Costa waited until the year had passed before notifying the plaintiff "you sued the wrong company".
Lower courts upheld Costa's contention, and so now there they all are with big dollar lawyers presenting the case to the Supreme Court, which by my reading of the transcript doesn't buy Costa's reasoning. I think the court will rule that "Costa is Costa, no matter how you want to parse it".
All of this because a woman tripped over a cable on a Costa ship and broke her leg. This type of legal nonsense drives me crazy.
You can read the story and download a court transcript at Gene Sloan's USA Today column HERE