Conflicts Keyed to Currie
Siegelman v. Cunard White Star Ltd.
Mrs. Siegelman (Plaintiff) and her husband purchased an Atlantic crossing ticket from Cunard Lines (Defendant) in New York. The ticket, which was in the form of a contract, contained three clauses relevant to this case. One was that any action for death or injury to a passenger must be filed within one year from the date of the accident. The second stated that all questions arising on the contract would be decided according to English law. The third clause stated that any alterations of the contract terms of Cunard (Defendant) liability must be in writing. Mrs. Siegelman (Plaintiff) was injured while on the high seas and filed a claim for reimbursement. The one-year deadline approached before settlement of the claim and a claims agent from Cunard (Defendant) stated, when asked, that suit would not have to be filed since there was an excellent chance of settlement. Mrs. Siegelman (Plaintiff) subsequently died and Defendant then denied any recovery on the basis that Plaintiff’s claim did not survive her. Mr. Siegelman (Plaintiff) then filed suit past the one-year time limit, asserting waiver of the limit by the claims agent. Citing the terms of the contract, the district court dismissed the suit on motion by Defendant.
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