John Arthur Eaves Jr. to sue cruise ship owner over wreck in Italy

ROME (AP) – A U.S. lawyer for compensation-seeking survivors of the Costa Concordia capsizing said Wednesday he will push for changes in maritime laws and technology to make the cruise ship industry safer.

John Arthur Eaves Jr. said that in about two weeks he will file lawsuits against Miami-based Carnival Corp., the parent company of Costa Crociere, SpA., the Italian cruise line whose ship rammed a reef off a Tuscan island on Jan. 13 and capsized. At least 17 people were killed and 15 remain unaccounted for.

The lawyer said his 70 clients want to sue Carnival, including ones from the United States, Italy, Germany, Britain, Russia and Switzerland. He did not identify them by name.

Eaves, who lost an election for governor of Mississippi in 2007, was among the lawyers who obtained settlements of nearly $2 million apiece in 2000 for families of 20 people killed in Italy when a U.S. Marine jet clipped a ski gondola’s cable two years earlier.