The ticket was purchased in the state of Washington with a clause in the contract stating that if a lawsuit arises from the purchase and/or cruise any lawsuits would be filed in the state of Florida.
Can the forum-selection clause in the Carnival Cruise Lines tickets be enforced?
Mrs. Shute purchased tickets to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Carnival Cruise Lines in the state of Washington through a travel agency. During the trip, Mrs. Shute slipped on a deck mat while on a guided tour of the ship’s galley and was injured as the ship was on its return voyage in international waters off the Mexican coast. Mrs. Shute filed a negligence lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines in the U.S district court in Washington, seeking damages. Mrs. Shute purchased the ticket in Washington, where she resides and filed the lawsuit in her home state.
Carnival Cruise Lines received payment from The Shute’s for the cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, prepared the tickets and mailed the tickets and a five page contract to the Shutes. In the five page contract the ticket contained a forum-selection clause designating the state of Florida as the forum for any lawsuits arising under or in connection with the ticket and/or cruise. Mrs. Shute was aware of the terms of the contract and filed a lawsuit in the state of Washington. Carnival Cruise Lines filed a motion for summary judgment, contending that the lawsuit could be brought only in a court located in the state of Florida, where the headquarters is located.
My Decision as the Judge:
Carnival Cruise Lines should prevail in