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BLAIR v. NORWEGIAN CARIBBEAN LINES
February 22, 1985
TYRONE and MARLENE BLAIR, Plaintiffs,
NORWEGIAN CARIBBEAN LINES, A/S, ET AL., Defendants
Gasch, District Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: GASCH
Plaintiffs Tyrone and Marlene Blair, residents of the District of Columbia at the time this litigation was filed, have filed this diversity action for breach of contract, negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unjust enrichment against two defendants: a) Federated International Travel d/b/a A AAABCO Cruise Center ("A AAABCO"), a Florida corporation; and b) Norwegian Caribbean Lines, A/S ("NCL"), a Norwegian corporation headquartered in Florida.
Plaintiffs' claims as set out in the complaint center on their experiences in attempting to take a one-week cruise on NCL's "M/S Skyward" from Miami on July 1, 1984. Plaintiffs claim to have reserved an outside room with twin beds by phone call to A AAABCO after seeing an NCL advertisement that purported to show a "typical twinbed outside stateroom" on the ship in Cruise & Travel Magazine. Complaint para. 6.
Plaintiffs further maintain that they flew to Miami from Washington National Airport to board the Skyward only to learn that the room to which they had been assigned had a double bed instead of two twin beds. Id. paras. 17, 20. Plaintiffs also claim the room was deficient in other respects with only sixteen inches of space between the bed and the cabin wall; missing molding along the walls; missing veneer on the bureau drawers; and a stained bedspread. Id. paras. 20-21.
Plaintiffs claim that they discussed these grievances with the ship's dock supervisor but were unable to obtain relief. Id. paras. 23-35. They therefore chose not to board the ship and instead stayed overnight to seek a refund from A AAABCO. Neither NCL nor A AAABCO has given plaintiffs any refund to date. Complaint para. 40.
Defendants NCL and A AAABCO have filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The facts on which the parties rely with regard to the question of jurisdiction over these defendants are not in dispute. Plaintiffs purchased the cruise tickets in question after reading advertisements for NCL and A AAABCO in Cruise & Travel Magazine. Plaintiffs then telephoned the "A AAABCO Cruise Center" in Florida from their home in Washington to make their reservations. All other interactions between plaintiffs and defendants occurred in Florida at the Skyward.
Neither of the defendants in this case is incorporated in the District of Columbia or registered to do business here. Neither has a place of business in the District of Columbia.
Plaintiffs base their claim of personal jurisdiction as to both defendants on subsections (a)(1) and (4) of the District of Columbia long arm statute which provide:
A District of Columbia court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person, who acts directly or by an agent, as to a claim for relief arising from the person's:
(1) transacting any business in the District of Columbia;
(4) causing tortious injury in the District of Columbia by an act or omission outside the District of Columbia if he regularly does business, engages in any other persistent course of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or ...
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