On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Docket No. L-3680-08.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Skillman and Fuentes.
Plaintiff was a passenger on a cruise ship named the Costa Magica, which was owned by defendant Costa Crociere, S.P.A., an Italian corporation. Kurt Mehta, a friend of plaintiff, who went with her on the cruise, purchased the cruise tickets through a ticket agent who obtained the tickets from defendant Costa Cruise Lines N.V., the sales and marketing agent for the Costa Magica.
Paragraph 1 of the ticket contract for the cruise imposed a one-year statute of limitations on claims for personal injury, stating, in relevant part, in bold print:
1. NOTICE AND LIMITATION OF ACTIONS AGAINST THE CARRIER
The carrier shall not be liable for any physical or emotional injury, illness or death of the passenger unless written notice of the claim with full particulars is delivered to the carrier or its duly authorized agent within 185 days after the date of injury, illness or death. No suit shall be maintainable in any event unless filed within one year after the date of injury, illness or death, and unless served upon the carrier within 120 days after filing.
Paragraph three of the ticket contract extended the protections of the contract to Costa Crociere's parents and agents, including defendant Costa Cruise Lines N.V., stating, in relevant part,
3. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY OF THE CARRIER'S AGENTS, SERVANTS, AND OTHERS
All of the defenses, limitations and exceptions of whatever kind relating to the responsibility and liabilities of the CARRIER that may be invoked by the CARRIER by virtue of this Contract or by law are fully extended to and may also be invoked by all persons who may act on behalf of the CARRIER or on whose behalf the CARRIER may act. Such persons may include without limitation (i) the CARRIER's parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, representatives, agents, employees, servants, concessionaires and contractors, . . . and (iii) Costa Cruise Lines N.V., the Netherlands Antilles corporation that is a sales and marketing agent for the CARRIER and the issuer of this Passage Ticket Contract.
The itinerary for the cruise, which embarked from Port Everglades, Florida, on November 26, 2006, included a November 30, 2006 visit to La Romana, Dominican Republic. Plaintiff and Mehta disembarked from the ship when it arrived at La Romana and went by shuttle bus to the port. While walking in the shopping district, plaintiff and Mehta were robbed by men with knives, who stole their passports, drivers licenses, credit cards, and other personal effects. Plaintiff alleges that she suffered physical and emotional injury as a result of the robbery.
On November 26, 2008, nearly two years after the robbery, plaintiff filed this action in the Law Division. Plaintiff's complaint named as defendants not only Costa Crociere and Costa Cruise Lines but also Carnival Corporation, which the complaint identified as the owner of Costa Cruise Lines, and Florida- Caribbean Cruise Association, which the complaint identified as a trade ...