Horr, Skipp & Perez wins cruise line arbitration appeal case

April 5, 2024 General

Horr, Skipp & Perez, P.A. recently won an appeal in a cruise line arbitration case, Wilson v. Carnival, where the arbitrator found that the Claimant’s claims were time-barred for failure to timely pursue arbitration within the time prescribed by Panama law.

Unhappy with this ruling, the Claimant filed suit in the Southern District of Florida challenging the arbitrator’s decision and seeking to vacate the arbitral award in favor of the cruise line.

Our office filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that the District Court lacked power to vacate the arbitral award since under the New York and Panama Arbitration Conventions, Panama was the “primary jurisdiction” (the legal seat of the arbitration, or whose law governs the conduct of the arbitration) and Claimant needed to go to Panama to challenge the arbitral award. The District Court agreed and dismissed the case. The Claimant then appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision and also rejected the Claimant’s contention that his equal protection rights were violated. The Eleventh Circuit determined that the Claimant executed an employment agreement and by doing so voluntarily agreed to resolve his claim before an arbitral forum, limiting his right to access to the courts.

Horr, Skipp & Perez, P.A. has been litigating cruise line arbitration cases for many years. Our attorneys have successfully defended cruise lines in state and federal courts, as well as in foreign arbitrations.