Despite the cruise lines’ attempt to deprive their seaman crew members’ U.S. legal rights, courts are hostile towards these foreign choice of law provisions. The lawyers Brais & Brias often litigate this issue and have been successful in convincing courts to strike down such foreign choice of law provisions as they violate public policy against employees contracting away their U.S. statutory claims and allowing employers to lessen their maintenance and cure responsibilities.
We receive many calls from marine contractors telling us they finished a project, the yacht owner was pleased with the work but were never fully paid. Unfortunately, this is the industry standard for the yacht refurbishing business. Luckily the law is on your side!
Carnival Cruise Lines recently started inserting arbitration provisions into their seaman crew member employee contracts. These arbitration provisions require injured crew members to arbitrate their claims against the cruise line as opposed to having a judge or jury decide their cases. Though Carnival Cruise Lines often times require their seaman crew member employees to sign such contracts when they report to the ship, this practice is not always followed. Should the cruise line fail to produce a signed contract, it cannot compel arbitration. This was the case with Brais & Brais’ client Edward Florian.
We often times represent clients whose marine insurance companies wrongfully deny claims based upon exclusions even though the loss was really caused by a covered risk. This is a common tactic of marine insurance companies as they often play the odds that you will simply go away and not fight. Fortunately, maritime law is on your side should you decide to fight.
Nearly every cruise line’s boarding pass requires an injured passenger to file suit within one year from the date of accident. Cruise lines also require their injured passengers to file their claim in a specific city and even a particular court. As such, a person living in Chicago who was injured on a cruise departing from and returning to San Diego may be required to bring a lawsuit in a Miami Federal Court even though the cruise ship never touched a Florida port.