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Costa Concordia captain sues for wrongful termination

The captain of the ill-fated cruise ship that ran aground on the Tuscany coast in January, killing 32 people, faces charges of manslaughter and abandoning the ship during a preliminary hearing next week.

Still, Francesco Schettino, former captain of the Costa Concordia, has sued, claiming wrongful termination from his job after the accident, according to his lawyer.

“It is the right of every worker to appeal against his dismissal and Capt. Schettino has done no more than exercise that right,” his lawyer Bruno Leporatti told Reuters News.

Investigators said Schettino brought the cruise ship, carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew members, too close to shore, delayed evacuation after the ship ran aground, and abandoned the ship while passengers were still trying to escape the sinking boat.

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He faces a preliminary hearing in Italy on the charges Monday.

Meanwhile, Titan Salvage, the company hired by Costa Cruises to refloat and remove the wrecked ship, recently issued a statement, saying it won’t be able to remove the ship until this spring. The cruise operator previously said it would be moved in January.

The salvage company said it “remains committed to pursuing all appropriate solutions that improve the time frame of the wreck removal.”

Also:

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Cruise industry rebounding from ship accident, woes in Europe

Costa Concordia’s sister ship is adrift in Indian Ocean

Cruise industry adopts new safety rules after Concordia disaster

Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin

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