Sandals Resorts International, (SRI) has described a class action lawsuit filed against it in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida as “baseless, both in fact and law” and says it will be “vigorously defended” by the company.
The lawsuit alleges that the all-inclusive resort chain, which has resorts throughout the Caribbean, has charged guests fees represented as local government taxes but which are instead retained by Sandals in part or in full "for their own use, benefit and profit."
But SRI chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, in a press release described the assertion that Sandals has not paid taxes due to any government as “categorically false.”SRI noted that class-action lawsuits are often intended to “coerce a company into settlement to avoid high litigation costs and negative publicity.”
It declared, “We have never imposed unlawful and inappropriate charges on our guests and will not cower to false tactics that claim otherwise.“In this digital age – when anybody can say anything, however untrue– trust and track record remain paramount. Our reputation and relationships with our valued guests are four decades in the making, which is why our guests continue to put their faith in us, year after year.
“For these reasons, Sandals intends to fight this lawsuit to the end as nothing less than a clean slate will do.”SRI pointed out that it is the “Caribbean’s largest private employer” as well as the biggest economic contributor and taxpayer in several of the Caribbean countries in which it does business.“Our operations in all territories have been subject to regular audits that have, without exception, always delivered clean reports.”.