Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.

Spector V. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.

Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.

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Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd., 545 U.S. 119 (2005), was a United States Supreme Court decision that determined (in a 6-3 decision) that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to foreign cruise ships in American waters. The case was argued February 28, 2005 and decided June 6, 2005.

Prior history

Douglas Spector and the four other disabled plaintiffs are bound to mobility scooters and wheelchairs. They sued Norwegian Cruise Line under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act after traveling aboard cruise ships (the Norwegian Sea and the Norwegian Star) registered in the Bahamas. Spector had purchased premium tickets, which were marketed as more handicap friendly. However, the ship was not easily accessible. He had limited or no access to swimming pools, restaurants, elevators, and public restrooms because of physical barriers. The premium room was of lower quality than less expensive non-wheelchair friendly rooms. He was not allowed to participate in emergency drills and no emergency exit plan was laid out for disabled persons. Norwegian Cruise Line argued that American laws did not apply to the cruise line because it was registered in the Bahamas. The cruise line's ships, however, were based out of Miami, Florida ports.

Spector first sued the cruise line in federal district court in Houston, Texas (Spector's home town). The court ruled against Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. saying that despite their foreign flag they must abide by American laws when...
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