January 13, 2010
Litigation Alerts

Cruise Trip False-Ad Claim Fails

Cruise ship passenger plaintiffs brought suit for false advertising, unfair business practices and related claims after buying a two-week cruise with a northern European itinerary including additional shore excursions purchased by plaintiffs.  The essence of plaintiff's complaint is that the shore excursions were sold as an arrangement with independent shoreside providers, but were actually controlled by the cruise line and charged at inflated prices compared to the underlying service provider charges.  The California Court of Appeal has ruled that plaintiff's false advertising claims must fail, and their consumer representative claims for unfair competition must also fail, because they did not rely upon any advertising or other statements of the cruise operator in choosing to take the shore excursions.  Instead, the plaintiff testified in deposition that she would have wanted to take the shore excursions regardless of price, or at least that she was prepared to pay the prices quoted by the cruise line.  Because the plaintiff's purchasing decision did not rely on the objected-to advertising, she suffered no harm from that advertising, and had no basis to maintain a lawsuit for false advertising, unfair practices or fraud.  (Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. v. Superior Court (Wang), California Court of Appeal No. B212761, November 10, 2009)
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