Pate v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd.
Order on Motion to Dismiss
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA
PRINCESS CRUISE LINES, LTD., a
Bermuda corporation, TOUR
ALASKA, LLC, a Delaware
corporation, ALASKA HOTEL
PROPERTIES, LLC, a Delaware
corporation, and ROYAL HYWAY
TOURS, INC., an Alaska
corporation all d/b/a PRINCESS
TOURS and/or PRINCESS CRUISES,
Case No. 3:04–CV-0259-RRB
ORDER GRANTING MOTION
Before the Court are Defendants Princess Cruise Lines,
LTD., et al., with a Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 17). Defendants
argue the matter presently before the Court should be dismissed
passenger/plaintiff file suit within one year of the injury and
that any such suit be filed with a court in the County of Los
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS - 1
Moreover, Defendants argue the “passage contract” is a maritime
contract, whereby maritime jurisdiction is applicable.
opposes at Docket No. 23 and argues, “there being no evidence of
any contract, and this incident concededly having occurred in
Interior Alaska, no maritime jurisdiction can be made under what
“Plaintiff claims she was injured when she fell stepping
from a shower at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge in
Talkeetna, Alaska, on July 14, 2002.”2
Alaska . . . .”3
Exactly two years later,
Defendants “removed the case to this Court and a
motion to remand was denied.”4
Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint,
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, because:
[P]laintiff did not file it within one year as
provided by the passage contract contained in
her ticket for her cruise and the associated
land tour, and because she did not file the
Clerk’s Docket No. 23 at 3.
Clerk’s Docket No. 17 at 1.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS - 2
case in a court in Los Angeles County,
California, also required by the contract.5
“Defendants have not produced the ticket which they assert forms
the basis of the contract between [Plaintiff] and themselves.”6
Notwithstanding, Defendants have produced the pertinent language
that was contained within the four corners of every “passage
contract” issued during the time period relevant to this matter.7
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides
that summary judgment should be granted if there is no genuine
dispute as to material facts and if the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.
The moving party has the burden of
showing that there is no genuine dispute as to material fact.8
moving party need not present evidence; it need only point out the
lack of any genuine dispute as to material fact.9
Once the moving
party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must set forth
evidence of specific facts showing the existence of a genuine issue
Clerk’s Docket No. 23 at 2.
See Clerk’s Docket No. 19, Ex. 1.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
Id. at 323-325.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS - 3
All evidence presented by the non-movant must be
believed for purposes of summary judgment, and all justifiable
inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-movant.11 However, the
nonmoving party may not rest upon mere allegations or denials, but
must show that there is sufficient evidence supporting the claimed
factual dispute to require a fact-finder to resolve the parties’
differing versions of the truth at trial.12
The “passage contract” at issue is a “cruise line passage
Consequently, it is governed by maritime law.13
fact that the original “passage contract” cannot be located is
irrelevant. Plaintiff has failed to produce any probative evidence
showing that she boarded the ship in Seward without the use of a
‘passage contract’] to ship personnel and [was] given in exchange
[a] plastic card for leaving.”14
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-9
Id. at 255.
Id. at 248-9.
Wallis v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 306 F.3d 827, 834 (9th
Cir. 2002)(citation omitted)(“A cruise line passage contract is a
maritime contract governed by general federal maritime law.”).
Clerk’s Docket No. 23, Ex. A at 2.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS - 4
Consequently, the Court further concludes Plaintiff was
legally chargeable with notice of: (1) the time limitations clause;
and (2) the forum selection clause, contained within the applicable
Because Plaintiff has failed to show that there is a
genuine issue for trial wherein a reasonable juror could return a
verdict in her favor, i.e., because Plaintiff did not file her
claim(s) within one year, as provided by the “passage contract” at
issue, said claim(s) is/are time-barred.
Moreover, inasmuch as Plaintiff did not file the case in
a court in Los Angeles County, California, as further provided by
the pertinent language contained within the applicable “passage
contract,” the instant matter must be dismissed.
Citing no authority, Plaintiff briefly argues the
“passage contract” at issue “is a contract of adhesion and that any
ambiguity [found therein] should be construed against the
[D]efendants.” Clerk’s Docket No. 29 at 5. While the Court is
sympathetic to this argument, it cannot stand as a matter of law.
There are no apparent ambiguities to be found within the four
corners of the “passage contract,” and Plaintiff had ample
opportunity, indeed, a legal responsibility, to read the ticket and
inform herself of its terms. See, e.g., Kendall v. American Hawaii
Cruises, 704 F. Supp. 1010, 1014-17 (D. Haw. 1989)(finding that
plaintiff, who actually had opportunity to read ticket before
cruise, had sufficient notice of clear and obvious contractual
provision even though page of ticket containing provision was
missing after cruise); Geller v. Holland-America Line, 298 F.2d
618, 619 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 370 U.S. 909 (1962)(enforcing
contractual provision in ticket where plaintiff never opened
envelope containing ticket).
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS - 5
Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 17), therefore,
is hereby GRANTED.
ENTERED this 26th day of January, 2006.
/s/ RALPH R. BEISTLINE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS - 6
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