March 10, 2006
"It's going to happen sometimes," says lawyer
Cruise ship ticket contracts routinely spell out that it is the passenger's obligation to get himself or herself aboard the ship in time to sail, and that if the passenger misses the ship it's his or her responsibility to get to the next port some other way.
Five Utah residents who got left behind on the island of St. Martin are suing Royal Caribbean for breach of contract anyway (along with negligence and infliction of emotional distress), claiming that the ship had a duty to have procedures in place for how to handle those left behind. The plaintiffs claim that Royal Caribbean was not helpful, and gave them incorrect information regarding how they could get to the next port.
Interestingly, they filed the suit in Utah. It's not clear whether Royal Caribbean has the same forum-selection clause as the defendant in Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute, in which case the suit won't be in Utah long.
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