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Sub-zero Freezer Co. v. Cunard Line Ltd.

United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
2002 WL 32357103


Sub-zero Freezer Company (Sub-zero) (plaintiff) a Wisconsin corporation, contracted with Cunard Line Limited (Cunard) (defendant), a Bahamian corporation with a principal place of business in Miami, Florida, to rent Cunard’s 208-passenger cruise ship, the Seabourn Spirit, for a seven-night cruise along the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The contract required Sub-zero to prepay the total cruise price of $892,000, which was non-refundable upon Sub-zero’s decision to cancel the trip. Additionally, a contract provision relieved Cunard of any liability for its failure to perform, even in the event of a terrorist attack or war, unless it was officially directed not to sail by the United States government. Before the cruise date, the attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred. Although the U.S. Department of State issued formal warnings to Americans not to travel abroad it did not issue any orders requiring Cunard to cancel the cruise. Sub-zero contacted Cunard seeking to reschedule the trip or, alternatively, a refund. After Cunard refused both requests Sub-zero filed suit in federal district court seeking recovery of the cruise payment. Cunard filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

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