Judge tosses claim for half billion dollars


On Aug. 27, a Kentucky company sued a cruise operator, saying it was “trafficking” in confiscated property and demanding damages of $503,234,453.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Beth Bloom dismissed the case “with prejudice,” meaning it can’t be brought back to court.
Havana Docks Corporation, at 215 Southland Drive in Lexington, Kentucky, had claimed that Cuba’s socialist government had “participated in and profited from” its possession of the property – the Havana Cruise Port Terminal – without the original owner’s permission.
Havana Docks said that on or about Dec. 10, 2018, MSC Cruises SA had “knowingly and intentionally commenced, conducted, and promoted their commercial cruise line business to Cuba using the Subject Property by regularly embarking and disembarking their passengers on the Subject Property without the authorization of Plaintiff or any U.S. national who holds a claim to the Subject Property.”
Bloom said that wasn’t accurate, writing:

Plaintiff is the rightful owner only of a time-limited concession that expired in 2004.

MSC Cruises is based in Switzerland and touts itself as the “world’s largest privately-owned cruise line.” Its Florida address is 6750 N. Andrews Ave., Suite 100, Ft. Lauderdale.
Havana Docks is also suing Carnival Cruise Lines, based in Doral, Florida. That case is scheduled to go to trial in October in Miami before the same judge.

3 thoughts on “Judge tosses claim for half billion dollars”

  1. When the threat of such frivolous but potentially costly suits are ended, will the cruise lines take on the political decision of the Trump Administration to destroy their business with Cuba?

    Was there a similar time limited lease on the airport?

  2. MSC had a substantial cruise business with Cuba based mostly on European passengers before President Obama opened the door to cruises from the US. To access the more lucrative Florida market, MSC changed its route to incorporate a US port. Like all other US based cruises, an order from the Commerce Department abruptly terminated their business without the expected grandfathering that benefited land tours. This harsh treatment was the fulfillment of the primary objective of John Bolton and his appointee Mauricio Claver-Carone, then and now head of the Western Hemisphere Department of the National Security Council.

    MSC could have restored its original route and included American passengers as long as their excursions in Havana met the criteria of Support for the Cuban People. However MSC like the US owned lines rolled over passively to the political agenda of the Trump Administration, despite substantial revenue losses and decline in stock value. Some speculate that this gave them an excuse to cancel passenger tickets in a way that they were not legally liable. Loss of the civil suit might not have provided similar protection.

    Once the suit is completely off the table, that calculus could change.


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