A former cruise ship worker for Seabourn was allowed to proceed with her Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness case in state court. The injured crewmember filed a lawsuit in Florida state court against her cruise line employer for injured sustained while working. The case concerns a blister the crewmember developed on a toe on her left foot. The shipboard physician treated the crewmember aboard the cruise ship, but seven months from the onset of symptoms, her toe showed signs of gangrene and was ultimately amputated.
Removal to Federal Court & Motion to Remand
Seabourn removed the case from state court to federal court under the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards arguing an arbitration agreement between it and the crewmember governed the dispute thereby precluding her ability to file a lawsuit. The court reviewed the arbitration agreement and found it not applicable to the claim brought against the cruise line. Upon the court’s determination that the case need not be arbitrated, the crewmember filed a motion to remand the case back to state court for trial. Seabourn opposed the motion to remand arguing that removal is proper under the diversity of citizenship exception and the crewmember waived any objection to the removal by failing to timely challenge the removal.