Huge payout for family of Costa Concordia's youngest victim

Costa Cruises has offered survivors €11,000 but advisers are calling for €125,000

Milan

The family of the Costa Concordia disaster's youngest victim has received a seven-figure payment from the liner's owner, Costa Cruises.

The compensation to relatives of five-year-old Dayana Arlotti, whose body was found inside the wrecked liner next to her dead father, Williams Arlotti, is the first big individual settlement to be confirmed.

Lawyer Torquato Tristani, representing the parents of Mr Arlotti and his partner, Michela Arlotti Maroncelli, said the agreement with Costa Cruises had been made quickly, adding: "I can say that the compensation was very satisfactory and fair to all parties."

Compensation for Dayana's mother, Susy Albertini, was confirmed by her lawyer, Davide Veschi. A confidentiality clause ensures that the amounts paid to the parties cannot be revealed, although reports indicated that it ran into seven figures.

The bodies of father and daughter were discovered side by side on 22 February inside the partially submerged vessel, almost six weeks after it crashed on rocks on 13 January near the shore of the Tuscan island of Giglio. Prosecutors say the captain, Francesco Schettino, was sailing dangerously close to the island when it struck a reef. The accident claimed 32 lives. Two bodies have yet to be recovered.

During the search, the appearance of Dayana's heartbroken mother on national television to plead for rescue services to keep up the hunt for her daughter touched many in Italy. Ms Albertini also went to the island, even as hopes faded and pressure increased on emergency services to switch their focus from search and rescue to salvage and environmental protection.

Costa Cruises has offered a €11,000 (£8,500) payment to survivors who were not injured or bereaved. Those accepting have to agree to drop all future litigation. But Codacons, the Italian consumer group leading a class-action against the company, has advised passengers to decline. It has called for a minimum of €125,000 for each passenger, saying psychological trauma had to be taken into account.

John Arthur Eaves, an American personal injury lawyer, has urged passengers to file lawsuits in the US.

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