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Sorry, Your Cruise Ship Wrongful Death Claim Must Be Litigated in Wales!

Wow, I'm an attorney and have been on many Royal Caribbean cruises out of Miami and this is news to me:
In the fall of 2009, Tore Myhra and his family vacationed on a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. During his voyage, Mr. Myhra fell ill, and he died sometime later. His Estate instituted this action against Royal Caribbean, seeking damages for his injuries and death. It alleged that a bacterial infection that he had acquired while on board Royal Caribbean’s vessel had caused these tragic events. Royal Caribbean moved to dismiss the action for improper venue under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3); it relied upon a forum-selection clause among the conditions in Mr. Myhra’s passage contract. That clause required that all personal injury claims be litigated in the courts of England and Wales and be governed by English law.

Ok, I see they booked passage through a British travel agency.
We hold that 46 U.S.C. § 30509(a) does not bar a ship owner from including a forum-selection clause in a passage contract, even if the chosen forum might apply substantive law that would impose a limitation on liability. We further hold that, under the particular circumstances set forth in the record before us, the forum-selection clause was reasonably communicated to the Myhras and, therefore, cannot be invalidated as having been achieved by overreaching on the part of Royal Caribbean.
If the limitation of liability by proceeding under Wales law is so severe, why not put that in all their contracts?

In other news, Ben Kuehne says the former Mayor of North Miami Beach did his very best to comply with all those really hard to understand, complex campaign finance laws:
 “As a political candidate, he has always attempted to follow the complex requirements of election and campaign finance laws,” he said. “He is confident he has done his best to comply with the law, and any errors that resulted were neither intentional nor harmful.”
Just like his term in office!

Finally, Steve Geller knows what a proper Holocaust Museum should look like -- it should look like it's not in the City of Hollywood.

Happy Friday!
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  1. As a direct descendant of a Welsh king, what's wrong with that? They have drinking water and universal health coverage. Get a scratch here and they amputate!

  2. Enjoy the gin gibsons my man, thanks for the entertainment.

  3. I would nod my head and say, "oh, the presence of the British travel agency makes a difference," except that, if you have ever tried to sue a vacation company, and you end up referencing the travel agency in some way or another (to establish personal jurisdiction, to apply choice of law, etc.), the vacation company will throw a big fit and tell you that their due process rights are being violated.

    I have no idea how the cruise injury lawyers do it. I am pretty gung ho about jumping into complicated fields of law, but cruise injury law looks more like three card monte than civil justice.

  4. More intellectual dishonesty from the 11th Circuit. The statute prohibits a cruise line from inserting a tcket provision that limits its liability for personal injury or death for any cruise that touches a US port. The forum selection and choice of law provision does that by requirng application of the Athens Convention. The Court says, well that isn't the cruise line limiting your damages, that is the Courts of the UK. Huh? Who inserted the provision in its ticket? The cruise line.Brilliant!

  5. That is pretty crazy that they are doing that.

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