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Casavant v. Norwegian Cruise Line, Ltd.

Massachusetts Appeals Court
829 N.E.2d 1171 (2005)


Facts

Mark and Tara Casavant (plaintiffs) purchased cruise tickets from Norwegian Cruise Line, Ltd. (Norwegian) (defendant). The Casavants booked the tickets in October 2000 through a booking agent and paid a deposit. The Casavants paid the remaining balance on the tickets in full by July 18, 2001. The cruise was scheduled to depart from Boston on September 16, 2001. Norwegian mailed the tickets along with the terms of the contract on August 27, 2001. The contract contained a forum-selection cause that required any litigation to be filed in Florida. The Casavants received the tickets in early September and, within approximately one week, requested to reschedule the cruise. The Casavants requested to reschedule three additional times and were denied each time by Norwegian. The Casavants expressed a fear of travelling to the Boston airport after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which had partially originated from Boston. Norwegian continued to reject the Casavants’ requests. The Casavants sued Norwegian in Massachusetts. Norwegian moved for the trial court to dismiss the lawsuit based on the forum-selection clause. The trial court granted Norwegian’s motion, and the Casavants appealed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Berry, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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