Families claiming for compensation have, under the law on fatal accidents as it stands, received hardly anything over and above the cost of the funeral. Many people have lost jobs, homes and relationships due to bereavement grief in the aftermath of the disaster, but English law does not recognise this in the absence of actual financial dependency at the time of death. When young unmarried people die in circumstances of gross negligence as here, death comes cheap and the boat owners and their insurance companies suffer little in the way of financial penalties. It is not only in the field of criminal law that the Marchioness families have been let down by the system.
Christian Fisher Solicitors
The writer is the solicitor acting for 43 families whose relatives died in the `Marchioness' disaster.