from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Florida No. 1:16-cv-23065-RNS
TJOFLAT, MARTIN, and JILL PRYOR, Circuit Judges.
case arises from a drunken tumble down an escape hatch on a
cruise ship. Olivier Caron, a Canadian citizen, was injured
while a passenger on the Star, a vessel owned and
operated by NCL. On the second day of his Baltic cruise,
Caron bought an all-inclusive package, which allowed him
unlimited beer and wine while on the cruise, and proceeded to
drink beer late into the night. After leaving the bar,
instead of returning to his room, Caron entered an area that
was clearly marked with signs reading "CREW ONLY"
and "RESTRICTED, CREW ACCESS ONLY." Pressing on,
Caron entered another door labeled "CAUTION Only
authorized crew beyond this sign," and fell several feet
through an emergency-exit hatch, causing injuries for which
he now seeks to recover. He filed suit in the District Court,
claiming the cruise line was negligent in allowing him to
fall down the hatch and in over-serving alcohol to him, which
led to his fall. The District Court dismissed the
over-service claim and granted summary judgment for NCL on
the other negligence claim. Plaintiff appeals both rulings.
After careful consideration, we affirm.
opinion is organized as follows. We discuss the facts and
procedural history of the case in Part I, the subject-matter
jurisdiction of the District Court in Part II, the dismissed
over-service claim in Part III, and the other negligence
claim in Part IV. Part V concludes.
Caron spent the evening of July 15, 2015, drinking with his
fellow passengers aboard the Star. He became
intoxicated to the point that he felt "completely
disoriented." At about 3:37 a.m. on July 16, Caron
descended a midship flight of stairs into a
passenger-elevator area. But instead of continuing on to his
room on the ship, Caron opened a clearly marked crew-only
door and proceeded into a restricted area of the ship. He
walked down a hallway, where he was seen by two crewmembers
who tried to talk to him; he did not respond. While the
crewmembers called security, Caron moved away from them, such
that they did not see where he went. He opened and walked
through another door with obvious crew-only markings, where
he fell into a hole, hitting the deck below and suffering an
injury to his foot. The hole was an escape hatch from the
bow-thruster room below, and the hole would have been clearly
visible once the door was opened. Caron fell down the hole
approximately four minutes after entering the crew-only area.
About four and a half hours later, Caron climbed out of the
hatch and, with assistance, went to the ship's medical
center, where his injuries were treated.
14, 2016, Caron filed suit against NCL in the Southern
District of Florida, asserting jurisdiction on the basis of
diversity of citizenship and admiralty jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(2),
§1333(1). His complaint made no mention of being
served alcohol, but he did allege several other theories of
negligence. He claimed, among other things, that NCL had
failed to maintain its walkways and manholes in a safe
condition, to remedy a known dangerous condition, and to warn
Caron of a danger that was not open or obvious. Caron
demanded a jury trial, and one was scheduled. Although Caron
alleged that admiralty jurisdiction was proper, he did not
make a Rule 9(h) election for his claim to proceed in
admiralty. Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(h).
September 30, 2016, Caron amended his complaint, adding an
allegation that NCL was negligent in over-serving alcohol to
him. NCL moved to dismiss this claim under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and strike the allegation of
over-service on the basis of a limitations provision in
Caron's ticket contract, which required any
personal-injury suits against NCL to be brought within one
year of the incident giving rise to the injury. The District
Court granted the motion, finding that the over-service claim
was contractually barred and did not relate back to the
November 3, 2017, the District Court granted NCL's Motion
for Summary Judgment on the remaining negligence theories. It
found that Caron had not met his burden of production, as he
had failed to produce evidence of the dangerousness of the
escape hatch, of NCL's knowledge of such dangerousness,
or of the unreasonableness of the crew's behavior in
letting Caron escape further into the restricted area. This
subject matter jurisdiction exists is an issue of law that we
review de novo. Molinos Valle Del Cibao, C. por
A. v. Lama, 633 F.3d 1330, 1340 (11th Cir. 2011). The
party seeking federal jurisdiction must prove, by a
preponderance of the evidence, facts supporting the exercise
of jurisdiction. McCormick v. Aderholt, 293 F.3d
1254, 1257 (11th Cir. 2002).
parties disagree as to whether the District Court had
subject-matter jurisdiction. Caron contends that the
alienage-diversity provision, which governs suits between
aliens and citizens of a State, applies, and that the
District Court thus entertained jurisdiction under this
provision. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(2). Since
Caron is a Canadian citizen and NCL is a Bermuda corporation
with its principal place of business in Florida, Caron argues
that NCL should be deemed a Florida citizen for diversity
purposes. And even if alienage-diversity jurisdiction fails,
Caron argues, as a fallback, that he sufficiently invoked the
court's admiralty jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
contends that Caron failed to adequately plead NCL's
citizenship to invoke alienage-diversity jurisdiction, since
he did not allege NCL's Bermuda citizenship or move to
amend his complaint to do so. It also denies that admiralty
jurisdiction is available, since Caron did not elect to
proceed under admiralty per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
diversity, like general diversity under 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)(1), must be complete; an alien on both sides of a
dispute will defeat jurisdiction. Lama, 633 F.3d at
1340; cf. Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 3 Cranch 267
(1806) (requiring complete diversity under the predecessor
statute to § 1332(a)(1)). This Court has never
explicitly decided whether dual-citizen corporations,
incorporated under the laws of a foreign state but with their
principal place of business in a U.S. state, count as aliens
in order to defeat complete diversity in suits against other
aliens. Every other circuit court of appeals to consider the
issue has concluded that alienage diversity is lacking in
these cases, defeating subject-matter jurisdiction.
See, e.g., Vantage Drilling Co. v.
Hsin-Chi Su, 741 F.3d 535, 537-38 (5th Cir. 2014);
Slavchev v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 559 F.3d
251, 254-55 (4th Cir. 2009); Peninsula Asset Mgmt.
(Cayman) Ltd. v. Hankook Tire Co., 509 F.3d 271, 272-73
(6th Cir. 2007); Creaciones Con Idea, S.A. de C. V. v.
Mashreqbank PSC, 232 F.3d 79, 82 (2d Cir.
2012 amendments to § 1332(c) bolster the rationale of
these decisions. Section 1332(c) governs the citizenship of
corporations for purposes of diversity jurisdiction. Previous
versions of the statute referred only to corporations
incorporated in, or with their principal place of business
in, a "State." 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c) (2006);
see also Cabalceta v. Standard Fruit Co., 883 F.2d
1553, 1557 (11th Cir. 1989) (interpreting a prior version of
§ 1332). Before the recent amendments, the circuits were
split on whether foreign states were "State[s]"
within the meaning of the statute. Compare
Cabalceta, 883 F.2d at 1557 with Nike, Inc. v.
Comercial Iberica de Exclusivas Deportivas, S.A., 20
F.3d 987, 990 (9th Cir. 1994).
contrast, the 2012 amendments to § 1332(c) explicitly
impute to corporations citizenship in every State or foreign
state where the company is incorporated and in the State or
foreign state where the company has its worldwide principal
place of business. § 1332(c)(1) (2012). So a corporation
incorporated in a foreign state is specifically deemed a
citizen of that foreign state when evaluating jurisdiction.
therefore hold that § 1332(a)(2) does not grant
jurisdiction over a suit between a corporation incorporated
solely in a foreign state and another alien, regardless of
the corporation's principal place of
Caron is a Canadian citizen, and NCL is a Bermuda company
with its principal place of business in Florida. Since both
Caron and NCL are aliens, § 1332(a)(2) does ...