The Eleventh Circuit holds yet again that seamen’s arbitration agreements are enforceable in Kenneth Fernandes v. Carnival Corp., 09-15675 (11th Cir. Jul. 12, 2012).
Following up on its own recent precedents, Lindo v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., 652 F.3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2011) and Bautista v. Star Cruises, 396 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 2005), the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirms a district court’s order compelling a Jones Act seaman to arbitrate in accordance with a seamen’s arbitration agreement.
Relying on Thomas v. Carnival Corp., 573 F.3d 1113 (11th Cir. 2009), Plaintiff argued that public policy prohibits the enforcement of the arbitration agreement. The court held that to the extent that Thomas allowed a plaintiff seaman to prevail on a new public policy defense under the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Thomas violated Bautista and Lindo. The court also held that public policy was no defense to enforcement of plaintiff’s arbitration agreement.