Judge Cooke Voids Carnival Arbitration Clause.

This is a pretty interesting opinion from Judge Cooke, voiding an arbitration clause in a Carnival Cruise line employee contract.

She finds the arbitration provision to be null and void because it violates the statutory remedies provided to seamen by the Jones Act:
The Jones Act confers seamen the statutory right to sue their employers for the negligence of fellow crew members. 46 U.S.C. § 30104; Thomas, 573 F.3d 1115 n. 1. In the event of personal injury or death of a seaman, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with a right to trial by jury, against the employer. 46 U.S.C. § 30104. There is no dispute that the law governing the Agreement and the arbitration clause is Panamanian law. Panamanian law, however, does not provide a seaman a reasonable equivalent to the statutory rights conferred by the Jones Act. Accordingly, the arbitration clause violates public policy, operates as “prospective waiver” of a Plaintiff’s right “to pursue statutory remedies” under the laws of the United States, and is “null and void” under the Convention.  Absent a valid arbitration clause under the Convention, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action. 9 U.S.C. § 205.
Hmm, this has pretty broad implications, no?

Any guesses on how the 11th will handle this?


  1. SFL, where are you in that photo?

  2. reversal guaranteed

  3. It directly contradicts the 11th Circuit's holding in Bautista. Tick... tick....

  4. Whoopsy daisy! This is an order granting a motion to remand. Carnival has no appellate remedy, absent an extraordinar writ petition (and good luck with that). I've been there, and it sucks.

  5. tyfapluri, xrumer help , TzURjJd.


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