Forum Selection Clause
In addition to shortening the deadline for filing suit, many cruise lines enforce a forum selection clause in their ticket contracts. This clause forces injured passengers wishing to pursue legal action against the cruise line to file suit in the United States Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida. This means that even if you do not live in Florida or have never been to Florida, you will be required to initiate your legal proceedings in the state Florida. As a result, instead of having your locally elected state or county court judge presiding over your case in your hometown, your lawsuit will be heard in the state of Florida where many of the cruise lines are based. Additionally, the judge presiding over your case will be a federal judge who was appointed by the president of the United States.
For many attorneys, these are two very good reasons not to handle your case. Many attorneys do not handle federal cases because they are more challenging and even fewer attorneys are admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. At The Flanagan Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm, P.A., we are experienced in litigating cases against cruise lines within the state Florida. Michael T. Flanagan is well-versed in cruise ship injury law, including statutes of limitations and ticket contracts.