972 F.2d 998 (9th Cir. 1992), 91-35212, Dempsey v. Norwegian Cruise Line

Docket Nº:91-35212.
Citation:972 F.2d 998
Party Name:Kortney DEMPSEY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE, a foreign corporation, a division of Kloster Cruise Limited, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:May 04, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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972 F.2d 998 (9th Cir. 1992)

Kortney DEMPSEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,


NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE, a foreign corporation, a division of

Kloster Cruise Limited, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 91-35212.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

May 4, 1992


Memorandum May 8, 1992.

Order and Opinion Aug. 13, 1992.

Steven C. Yates, Velure & Yates, Eugene, Or., for plaintiff-appellant.

Kim Jefferies, Wood, Tatum, Wonacott & Landis, Portland, Or., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.

Before: WALLACE, Chief Judge, GOODWIN, Circuit Judge, and CROCKER, [**] District Judge.


The memorandum disposition filed May 8, 1992, is redesignated as a per curiam opinion.



Dempsey appeals from the district court's summary judgment in favor of Norwegian Cruise Line (Norwegian). We have jurisdiction over this timely appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We affirm.

We review the district court's summary judgment de novo. Tzung v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 873 F.2d 1338, 1339 (9th Cir.1989). We must determine "whether, viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the district court applied

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the relevant substantive law." Id. at 1339-40.

Dempsey argues that the district court erred by holding that her claim was barred by the one year limitations period found in Norwegian's printed form ticket. In general, suits for personal injuries that arise out of maritime torts are subject to a three year statute of limitations. See 46 U.S.C. app. § 763a. However, Congress has also indicated that contracts may legally shorten the limitations period to one year. See id. § 183b(a).

The ticket in this case provided that suits for personal injuries must be brought within one year of injury. The issue before us is whether this limitation was reasonably communicated to Dempsey. See Deiro v. American Airlines, Inc., 816 F.2d 1360, 1364 (9th Cir.1987) (Deiro ). "The 'reasonableness' of notice under this test is a question of law to be determined by the court." Id.

The physical characteristics of the ticket in this case clearly informed Dempsey that her rights were being limited. See id. The ticket contained the notation "Important Notice" in a bright red box at the bottom right-hand corner of each of the first four pages. The message contained in the box clearly informed the passenger that he or she should read certain pages of the ticket that "affect important legal rights." The terms and conditions begin on page 6 of the ticket, and at the top of this page it is stated in bold letters: "Passengers are advised to read the terms and conditions of the Passenger Ticket Contract set forth below. Acceptance of this Passenger Ticket Contract by Passenger shall constitute the agreement of Passenger to these Terms...

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