COVID-19 claims are beginning to emerge in an arbitration context. In Fitzgerald v. Grand, Circle, LLC d/b/a Overseas Adventure Travel, a U.S. District Court addressed the cancellation of a cruise due to the pandemic. The passengers, upset at the cruise lines willingness to provide an opportunity to reschedule the trip but not a refund, brought suit. The cruise line invoked arbitration based upon the terms of the purchase agreement.
The court upheld the arbitration requirement, severing provisions that would have required the passengers to arbitrate in a location not proximate to their home and requiring them to contribute more to the costs of the arbitration that permitted under the arbitration tribunal’s rules.