A decade-long court case between Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has ended in a $26 million settlement, with the line paying $23 million in damages to 1200 passengers and $3 million in their legal costs.
Scenic Group said in a statement that while it was disappointed with the final judgment, the outcome is “in line with our financial provisioning, given the previous court decisions and subsequent appeals”.
“We are pleased that this matter has finally been settled and can confirm that Scenic Group is committed to delivering scheduled itineraries, without compromising on the guest’s safety or the services we provide,” said the statement.
“Whilst the prospect of schedule interruptions is unpredictable, we take nothing for granted and continue to invest in our River Cruise Cover and itineraries for the benefit of our guests.”
The settlement means an average of $19,166 per passenger to those who booked cruises during a period of adverse weather events that lead to high river levels and flooding. The weather meant river cruise ships could not safely sail on the Rhine and Danube.
Scenic used coaches to move people from ship to ship instead of cancelling the cruises. Somerville Legal’s Managing Director Ben Hemsworth, who represented the passengers, described what his clients were offered as ‘second rate bus tours’.
The case had already been decided against Scenic following decisions in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. This settlement is the finalisation of proceedings regarding the calculation of damages.