Patricia Seitz, a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, indicated a return to service step for Carnival brands might include a 60-day delay. The order would part of the case against Carnival Corp for environmental crimes, which began in April 2017.
If the judge follows through with her threat, which she also made last year during one of the hearings, Carnival Corp would have to notify her 60 days before reentering U.S. waters. At that time, CEO Arnold Donald would have to certify it’s compliance of environmental standards. These extra steps would keep Carnival brands (Carnival, Holland America, and the original offender, Princess) out of the U.S. markets longer than it’s competitors.
These restrictions would follow $60 million in fines ($40M in 2017 and $20M in 2019) for the original offense and repeatedly violating the terms of probation. Originally, Carnival plead guilty to dumping oily waste from Princess ships into the ocean for a period of 8 years.
Carnival Corp lawyers argued that the added penalty, essentially adding a 60-day delay to the current no sail order, was unfair and asked the judge to reconsider because of the negative impact on the company. Judge Seitz agreed to hold off on her judgment for 24 hours to review the legal arguments and reconsider the punishment.
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