Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,600+ case briefs...

Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.

United States Supreme Court
545 U.S. 119, 125 S.Ct. 2169, 162 L.Ed.2d 97, 2005 AMC 1521 (2005)


Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. (NCL) (defendant) is a company operating cruise ships with its principal place of business in the United States. It primarily advertises for business in the U.S., and the majority of its passengers are U.S. citizens. Under the terms of its tickets, disputes between passengers and NCL are to be governed by U.S. law. However, despite all these contacts with the United States, most of NCL’s cruise ships are registered in other countries and fly foreign flags. In 1998 and 1999, Spector (plaintiff), a disabled person, and other disabled persons (all U.S. citizens) booked cruises on two of NCL’s ships: the Norwegian Sea and the Norwegian Star. Both ships were registered in the Bahamas. Spector brought a class action suit on behalf of all disabled persons similarly situated seeking declaratory and injunctive relief on the ground that NCL charged them higher fees and surcharges than other passengers, required them to travel with a companion, reserved the right to remove them from the ship if necessary for the “comfort” of other passengers, prevented them from enjoying all the amenities of the ships, and refused to make structural accommodations to the physical layout of the ships, including the safety barriers, for the purpose of making them more accessible to persons with disabilities. Spector alleged these actions violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The United States court of appeals dismissed the claim on the ground that general statutes do not apply to foreign-flag vessels in United States territory absent a clear indication of congressional intent.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial