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Eleventh Circuit Validates Forum-Selection Clause in Passenger Contract


In the case of the Estate of Tore Myhra v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Case No. 10-15840 (11th Cir. Sept. 21, 2011), the Plaintiff, the estate of Tore Myhra, brought suit against Royal Caribbean, seeking damages for Mr. Myhra's injuries and death. The Plaintiff alleged that a bacterial infection that the passenger had acquired while on board Royal Caribbean's vessel had caused the events which resulted in his death. The district court dismissed the Plaintiff's case, noting that forum-selection clauses are presumptively valid and the Plaintiff failed to make the strong showing required to void the presumptively valid forum-selection clause.
On appeal, the estate contended that the forum-selection clause should be invalidated both because it was against the statutorily expressed public policy of the United States and because its terms were not reasonably communicated to the Myhras. The court concluded that 46 U.S.C. section 30509(a) did not prevent Royal Caribbean from including the forum-selection clause in the decedent's contract. Nor did the court perceive any procedural or substantive error in the district court's conclusion that the clause was reasonably communicated to the Myhras. Accordingly, the decision of the district court to dismiss the case was correct and the court affirmed the judgment.
A full copy of this decision can be found at => http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca11/10-15840/10-15840-2012-09-21.pdf or you can reach me at miamipandi@comcast.net or mov@chaloslaw.com to obtain a copy.

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