MICHAEL GRIVESMAN, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, Defendants.
No. 00 C 2091
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 661
January 24, 2001, Decided
January 25, 2001, Docketed
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Plaintiffs filed a pro se lawsuit against defendants, alleging breach of contract and negligence. Defendants moved to dismiss.
OVERVIEW: Plaintiffs claimed that delays and poor service ruined the Caribbean vacation they took aboard a cruise ship operated by Defendants Corporation and president. Plaintiffs filed an admiralty action. Defendants argued that the complaint should be dismissed for improper venue. The court dismissed the action. The contracts attached to plaintiffs’ tickets contained a clear and conspicuous forum selection clause. The cover of the tickets included a statement in bold type and all capitals directing plaintiffs’ attention to the contract contained therein. Plaintiffs received the relevant information more than a month before the cruise was scheduled to begin, in time to cancel the trip with little penalty. Plaintiffs failed to show undue hardship. The expense and inconvenience of litigating the case in Florida were not enough to nullify the forum selection clause.
OUTCOME: Motion to dismiss was granted, because the forum selection clause in plaintiffs’ cruise ticket contracts was valid and enforceable.