Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dahir v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division

August 2, 2017

GERALD DAHIR, Plaintiff,
v.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          George C. Hanks Jr. United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Opposed Motion to Compel Arbitration. Dkt. 13. Based on the motion, response, and reply; the applicable law; and the arguments of counsel, the motion to compel arbitration is granted. The reasons for the ruling are explained below.

         Background

         Plaintiff Gerald Dahir (“Dahir”) was employed by Defendant Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“RCCL”) with a First Date of Hire in 2009. Dahir is a United States citizen and resident of California. RCCL is a Liberian Corporation with its principal place of business in Miami, Florida. Dahir performed as a band leader and guitar player on the M/V Radiance of the Seas (“Radiance”). The Radiance flies the flag of-and is registered under the law of-the Bahamas.

         Dahir and RCCL signed a Sign-On Employment Agreement (“Agreement”) with a Sign-On Date of July 1, 2015 and a Projected Sign-Off Date of October 24, 2015. This Agreement contained an Arbitration Clause, which read as follows:

1. All grievances and any other dispute whatsoever, whether in contract, regulatory, statutory, common law, tort or otherwise relating to or in any way connected with the Seafarer's service for the Owners/Company under the present Agreement, including but not limited to claims for personal injury/disability or death, no matter how described, pleased or styled, and whether asserted against the Owners/Company, Master, employer, Ship Owner, vessel or vessel operator shall be referred to and resolved exclusively by mandatory binding arbitration pursuant to the United Nations Conventions on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York 1958), 21 U.S.T. 2517, 330 U.N.T.S., (“The Convention”), except as provided by any government mandated contract. ….
3. Any arbitration shall take place in Miami, Florida, Oslo, Norway, or in any location agreed by the Owners/Company and the Seafarer. The procedural and substantive law of the arbitration shall be the law of Norway without regard to conflict of law principles. ….
5. Any arbitration, except as provided by any government mandated contract, shall be administrated in accordance with the American Arbitration Association-International Center for Dispute Resolution (“ICDR”) Rules, as amended with agreement of the parties, with the American Arbitration Association (“AAAA”) under its International Dispute Resolution Procedures as the appointing authority. ….
7. The Owners/Company and the Seafarer shall jointly appoint one arbitrator. In the event there is no agreement, an arbitrator shall be chosen pursuant to the ICDR rules….
8. The ICDR Rules of the American Arbitration Association shall govern matters of discovery and procedure not specifically addressed in this Agreement.
10. The arbitration, and not any federal, state or local court or agency shall have the exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability or formation of this Employment Agreement including, but not limited to any claim that all o[r] part of this Employment Agreement is void or voidable and as to choice of law.

         Dkt. 13-2. Under the Agreement's Governing Law clause, “[a]ny grievance or other dispute shall be governed in accordance with the laws of Norway, without regard to any conflicts of laws principles. Id. Below Dahir's signature was a final provision: “Employee's signature certifies that the employee has read, understood, and agreed to the terms of this agreement.” Id.

         Dahir joined the Radiance in Skagway, Alaska. Dahir alleges that on or about September 13, 2015, his cabin's bunk bed broke, causing him to sustain injuries. The Radiance was in international waters at the time, sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Hilo, Hawaii. Dahir disembarked to seek medical treatment in Sydney, Australia on October 9, 2015. He returned to the ship and fulfilled the remainder of his contractual duty. He disembarked again in Sydney, Australia on October 24, 2015 and was subsequently repatriated to California.

         Dahir brought suit in the 122nd Judicial District Court of Galveston County, Texas. Dahir brought claims under general maritime law and the Jones Act sounding in negligence, unseaworthiness, and maintenance and cure. RCCL timely removed the case to this Court, and now seeks to compel arbitration. At issue is whether the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“Convention”) controls an arbitration agreement between ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.