Fine Print Ramifications of Cruise Ship Contracts Continue: Victims of Costa Concordia Likely Will Not Find Relief in U.S. Courts

The recent Costa Concordia shipwreck in Italian waters has raised the often discussed question of whether United States citizens can seek relief in U.S. Courts based on injuries occurring on cruise ships outside U.S.waters.  The Costa Concordia passengers’ tickets included language providing that all claims against it would be brought in the Courts of Genoa, Italy.  U.S.Citizens have challenged similar contracts in the past, arguing that to litigate in a foreign country would be too burdensome.  In August 2010, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a dismissal of a lawsuit against Regent Seven Seas Cruises, whose printed passenger tickets called for all claims not involving a U.S. Port to be brought in Paris.  The court found the argument that foreign litigation would be too burdensome not to be persuasive over the plain language of the contract.  Legal experts believe that this court precedent will continue to apply to the recent tragedy aboard the Costa Concordia.

For the complete Eleventh Circuit Court opinion,

Thanks to Andrew Marra for his contribution to this post.