Updated: Oct 17, 2021
In Turner v. Costa Crociere S.p.A., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed whether a district court properly dismissed a putative class action claim arising from a COVID-19 outbreak on a cruise ship based on the forum non conveniens doctrine. The plaintiff, Paul Turner, (“Turner”) sued the defendants—Italian cruise operator Costa Crociere S.p.A. and its American subsidiary Costa Cruise Lines—alleging that their negligence caused a COVID-19 outbreak among the passengers aboard the Costa Luminosa transatlantic cruise ship. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed Turner’s suit because the defendants had an enforceable forum selection clause that required all claims against the defendants to be litigated in Italy. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, and held that (1) the forum selection clause was enforceable, and (2) the district court did not err in its forum non conveniens analysis.