The Appeal Court for the Third District of Florida supported the court’s dismissal of a lawsuit lately. The lawsuit was connected to an accident of a sea voyage. The of Appeal combined two cases – Abeid-Saba and Scimone II – brought by passengers who boarded the cruise ship. The two suits reported that in January 2012, the captain strayed from the existing cruise program to do the trick called a “bow.” At the period of this movement, the cruise hit a rock under the water which destroyed the body of the cruise. This, of course, made 3,206 passengers leave the cruise.

Different passengers filed suits (each with the help of a personal injury attorney) in the state court in the weeks following the accident. While the litigant’s number multiplied, Scimone, I was rejected by the claimants and documented two different actions – Abeid-Saba and Scimone II – that separated the passengers into two groups. The accused collectively moved the two cases in September 2012, from the state court to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act. A motion was filed to dismiss the cases, and in February 2013, a district court sent both cases to state court. It was again proposed to reject both cases.

The trial court in Abeid-Saba used the four-part inconvenient forum test in May 2013 founded by the Florida Supreme Court, and it was discovered that:

  • A place was a sufficient alternative forum;
  • Adequate evidence of private interest factors was presented to demonstrate that if the case were litigated in Florida, material injustice would be the outcome
  • Public interest factors favored the case to be litigated in a place
  • The litigants of Abeid-Saba plaintiffs could reenact their claims somewhere else without an excessive burden. Therefore, the trial court granted the motion proposed to reject the cases.

The trial court in Scimone II in the same month used the four-part test and discovered that:

  • A place was a sufficient alternative forum;
  • The private interest factors favored the rejection of the case
  • The public interest factors also favored the rejection of the case

Moving the case from Florida to somewhere else would result in an excessive burden. Therefore, the court granted the motion on one-hand and also denied it on another basis.

The Court of Appeal for the Third District of Florida supported the order of the trial court in Abeid-Saba because the court properly used the four-part test. In Scimone II, the trial court’s order was reversed by the appeal court because the trial court failed to convey a proper “private interest” analysis. The appeal court expounded explicitly that the trial court was not able to examine the principles of the complainants’ reasons for the action. They were also unable to deliberate on the evidence needed to prove and disprove each element and come up with a reasonable evaluation as to the likely location of each element of proof. Because the trial court was unable to make these assessments, the appeal court saw that it abused its discretion in refusing the motion to dismiss the suits. Hence, the court revoked that part of the trial court’s ruling in Scimone II.

If you are injured while traveling, contacting a personal injury attorney should be your first call as soon as you are safe.