The Carnival Corporation is in hot water after a federal judge threatened to ban the company’s cruise ships from docking at ports in the United States after reportedly violating its probation period from another case.
According to the Miami Herald, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz said Wednesday that she would decide at a hearing scheduled for June whether the cruise company’s probation will be lifted and a heftier punishment levied for the violations.
During the hearing, Judge Seitz scolded Carnival chairman Micky Arison and president Donald Arnold for the actions of the company, but neither man was in attendance. Seitz requested that top executives attended the June hearing to answer questions on the matter.
“The people at the top are treating this as a gnat,” Seitz said in court. “If I could, I would give all the members of the executive committee a visit to the detention center for a couple of days. It’s amazing how that helps people come to focus on reality.”
The Carnival Corporation has been on probation for two years after it was fined a record $40 million for illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruises ships and lying to authorities about the incidents.
While on probation, authorities claim the cruise company continued to pollute the environment and worked to not only avoid the long arm of the law, but also actively used its clout to change the terms of the settlement.
“It appears there were some mischaracterizations made by others to the court,” Carnival Corporation Chief Communications Officer Roger Frizzell said in a statement. “We intend to fully address the issues raised at today’s court conference.”
“Our environmental responsibility has been and continues to be a top priority for the company. Our aspiration is to leave the places we touch even better than when we first arrived,” Frizzell continued. “This is only in the best interest of our guests, our company and the oceans upon which we travel.”