Getting a Recovery for Cruise Ship Accidents; The Forum Selection Clause

If you are injured during a cruise, you can file a lawsuit only where the cruise ship has its principal offices. 

The cruise industry has a standard forum selection clause in the ticket which states the following:

  • the passenger must bring suit where the cruise line has its principal offices; and
  • suit must be filed in the federal court.

This means that the passenger must file suit in the state where the cruise line is headquartered even though the cruise might have started and ended in his home state.

For example,

Jake Jones lives in Brooklyn, New York,  He takes his family on a cruise on a Carnival ship from New York to Bermuda.  The cruise starts and ends in Brooklyn, New York, with stops in Bermuda.

On the trip back to New York, Jake slips in one of the cafes due to the ship’s negligence.  He fractures his ankle.

About two months after his return he consults an attorney to file suit.  The lawsuit must be brought in U.S. District Court in Dade County (Miami), Florida by reason of the forum selection clause in the ticket.  Carnival is headquartered in Miami.

On some of our cruise ship cases we must associate with Florida counsel.  We work with one of the leaders in cruise ship accidents, and we have had successful results.

If you have been injured in a cruise ship accident, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to

Mark E. Seitelman, 7/11/11,  


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