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5. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, INC. V.

SHUTE RULING: yes

499 U.S. 585 (1990) Decided April 17, 1991 As an initial matter, we do not adopt the Court of Appeals'
determination that a nonnegotiated forum selection clause
in a form ticket contract is never enforceable simply
because it is not the subject of bargaining
FACTS:
. Including a reasonable forum clause in a form contract of
The Shutes, through an Arlington, Wash., travel agent, this kind well may be permissible for several reasons:
purchased ticket e for a 7-day cruise on petitioner's ship,
the TROPICALE.  first, a cruise line has a special interest in limiting
the fora in which it potentially could be subject to
The face of each ticket, contained this admonition: suit. Because a cruise ship typically carries
passengers from many locales, it is not unlikely
"8. It is agreed by and between the passenger and the that a mishap on a cruise could subject the cruise
Carrier that all disputes and matters whatsoever arising line to litigation in several different fora.
under, in connection with or incident to this Contract
 Additionally, a clause establishing ex ante the
Respondents boarded the TROPICALE in Los Angeles, Cal. forum for dispute resolution has the salutary
The ship sailed to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and then effect of dispelling any confusion about where
returned to Los Angeles. suits arising from the contract must be brought
and defended, sparing litigants the time and
While the ship was in international waters off the Mexican
expense of pretrial motions to determine the
coast, respondent Eulala Shute was injured when she
correct forum, and conserving judicial resources
slipped on a deck mat during a guided tour of the ship's
that otherwise would be devoted to deciding those
galley.
motions.
Respondents filed suit against petitioner in the United
States District Court for the Western District of  Finally, it stands to reason that passengers who
Washington, claiming that Mrs. Shute's injuries had been purchase tickets containing a forum clause like
caused by the negligence of Carnival Cruise Lines and its that at issue in this case benefit in the form of
employees reduced fares reflecting the savings that the cruise
line enjoys by limiting the fora in which it may be
Petitioner moved for summary judgment, contending that sued.
the forum clause in respondents' tickets required the
Shutes to bring their suit against petitioner in a court in It bears emphasis that forum selection clauses contained in
the State of Florida form passage contracts are subject to judicial scrutiny for
fundamental fairness.
.The District Court granted the motion

the Court of Appeals acknowledged that a court concerned In this case, there is no indication that petitioner set
with the enforceability of such a clause must begin its Florida as the forum in which disputes were to be resolved
as a means of discouraging cruise passengers from
analysis with The Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., , where
this Court held that forum selection clauses, although not pursuing legitimate claims.
"historically . . . favored," are "prima facie valid."
Any suggestion of such a bad faith motive is belied by two
The appellate court concluded that the forum clause facts: petitioner has its principal place of business in
should not be enforced because it "was not freely Florida, and many of its cruises depart from and return to
bargained for." Florida ports.

. As an "independent justification" for refusing to enforce Similarly, there is no evidence that petitioner obtained
the clause, the Court of Appeals noted that there was respondents' accession to the forum clause by fraud or
evidence in the record to indicate that "the Shutes are overreaching.
physically and financially incapable of pursuing this
litigation in Florida," and that the enforcement of the Finally, respondents have conceded that they were given
clause would operate to deprive them of their day in court, notice of the forum provision and, therefore, presumably
and thereby contravene this Court's holding in The Bremen retained the option of rejecting the contract with impunity.
Respondents urge that the forum clause should not be
In the case before us, therefore, we conclude that the Court
enforced because, contrary to this Court's teachings in The
of Appeals erred in refusing to enforce the forum selection
Bremen, the clause was not the product of negotiation, and
clause.
enforcement effectively would deprive respondents of
their day in court.

ISSUE: WN FORUM CLAUSE IS ENFORCEABLE