NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A month after dozens of Carnival Cruise passenger’s vehicles were vandalized, they’re now finding out the city isn’t liable for damages to their vehicles.
One passenger contacted 10 On Your Side after receiving a letter from the City Attorney’s Office. The letter, mailed to affected passengers, said in part there’s “no evidence of negligence on the part of the City.” The City Attorney’s Office told passengers in part, “patrons of the City’s parking lots park at their own risk and are specifically reminded of this by language in the cruise parking pass.”
It’s leaving many passengers asking whose fault is it that their vehicles were vandalized?
A man from Newport News who asked to be referred to as “T” reached out to 10 On Your Side after receiving the letter.
He and his family went on a Carnival Magic Cruise to the Bahamas for his mother-in-law’s birthday. When the ship returned back to Norfolk, he says he began to get text messages from other passengers and saw posts online about vandalized cars in the Cedar Grove Lot on Monticello Avenue.
T says he was hoping his car would be spared, but he returned to find someone had busted the driver’s side backseat window of his car. The vandals also scratched outside the car and the busted window allowed for rain to get inside his car, causing water damage.
“We were led to believe that they were going to take care of it,” he said.
Almost $500 later, he got a letter from the city saying he has to front the bill.
“Everybody is supposed to just take a loss? The city don’t feel like they’re liable at all? I just don’t get that,” he said.
10 On Your Side reached out to Carnival Cruise Lines to see what they’re doing to help those impacted. In a statement, they said:
“We are in discussions with Norfolk port officials about our just-finished season and upcoming plans. Improving parking options for our guests – including improved security at local parking garages – is at the top of the list. We regret that some of our guests had some unfortunate incidents while parked for their cruise. While we have no authority or responsibility for the private or public parking options, we have conveyed that improving the parking situation is a top priority.“Matt Lupoli, Carnival Cruise Line Spokesperson
T says, however, he doesn’t blame the cruise line and would go on more cruises in the future. He blames the city.
“It was city-owned property, you hired an outside company to secure it, they didn’t do their jobs so, therefore, you’re held liable,” he said.
10 On Your Side brought the passenger’s concerns to Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander. In a statement, he said:
As T waits to find out if the city will step in to help cover the costs he and his fellow passengers unknowingly encountered, he has a message for city leaders.
“You got to do better,” he said. “They tried to make it seem like it would’ve been sympathy to help us. No! You’re doing your job. You’re doing what you’re supposed to do.”
T also says they haven’t heard anything about being issued a refund for parking in the lot.
10 On Your Side also reached out to the manager of the security company, Allied Universal Security Services, contracted by the city to patrol the lot, but have not heard back yet.