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Greek Ferry Victim Awarded $250K

November 8, 2000

PIRAEUS, Greece (AP) _ A court awarded $250,000 Wednesday to a survivor of a ferry sinking that left at least 80 people dead, the first ruling in dozens of lawsuits against the shipping company, local media said.

Greek passenger Stathis Livieratos, 22, had sued the ferry’s operator for damages from the accident in which the Express Samina struck a well-marked rocky islet and sank off the Aegean island of Paros on Sept. 26, the official Athens News Agency said.

The company, Minoan Flying Dolphins, said it would appeal the decision. But it must deposit a check for the full amount with the court within three days as a guarantee until the appeal procedure is completed, ANA said. The company also faces criminal charges for exposing passengers to danger.

Dozens of lawsuits seeking compensation totaling more than $32.5 million have been filed against the company by crew members, survivors and relatives of those who died.

The sinking was Greece’s worst maritime disaster in 35 years.

On Tuesday, several coast guard officials were charged with criminal negligence in connection with the sinking. The ferry’s captain, Vasilis Yiannakis, is currently in custody pending trial on charges equivalent to murder.

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