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Carnival Corp. Changes Its Tack, Says It Will Repay Government For Rescues

Posted on April 19, 2013

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA) was less than thrilled with the response he received to a letter that he sent to global cruise company Carnival Corporation. Rockefeller asked if Carnival was planning to reimburse some $4.2 million the Coast Guard and Navy spent rescuing the crippled Carnival Triumph in February and the Carnival Splendor in 2010.

Carnival’s senior vice president of corporate maritime policy penned an answer that vaguely insinuated that the cruise line giant had no obligation to pay for the rescue operations. “Carnival’s policy is to honor maritime tradition that holds that the duty to render assistance at sea to those in need is a universal obligation of the entire maritime community, “ he wrote.

After the uproar that resulted from its response, Carnival backtracked, stating that the company intended to pay an undisclosed amount back to the government for the operations and that it had always intended to do just that.

Rockefeller had complained that if Carnival didn’t reimburse for the rescue operations, the burden of the costs would be left to taxpayer’s, which wasn’t fair. He took a backhanded swipe at Carnival in his letter when he inquired, “Given that you reportedly pay little or nothing in federal taxes, do you intend to reimburse the Coast Guard and the Navy…”

The New York Times reports that in 2011 Carnival, which is incorporated in Panama, paid U.S. corporate taxes of just 1.1 percent of its profit over a five-year period.

After the Carnival announcement, Rockefeller released a statement, issuing lukewarm praise for the company for “owning up to the bare minimum of corporate responsibility.”

Passengers have filed suit against Carnival for the latest Triumph cruise disaster, which left passengers and crew alike stranded for five days in the Gulf of Mexico in squalid, unsanitary conditions.

The goal of a cruise line company is to maximize profit and minimize responsibility. That’s why you need the experienced Jacksonville cruise ship injury attorneys at Farah & Farah on your side if you have been injured or sickened on a cruise. Call us at (800) 533-3555 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation review of your case today.