United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant Carnival
Corporation's (“Defendant” or
“Carnival”) Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 
(“Motion”). The Court has carefully reviewed the
Motion, the opposing and supporting submissions, the record
and applicable law, and is otherwise fully advised. For the
reasons stated below, the Motion is granted.
case stems from injuries allegedly sustained by Plaintiff
while on a cruise operated by the Defendant. Plaintiff
alleges that on or about November 12, 2017, while on the
Defendant's vessel, the Carnival Victory (the
“Ship”), she slipped and fell on the Ship's
pool deck and sustained injuries. ECF No. , at ¶ 18.
Plaintiff claims that after she fell, she called the
infirmary and was told that someone would come and retrieve
her. Id. Plaintiff asserts that despite this
representation, no one came to assist her, and she was forced
to walk to the infirmary for treatment of her injuries.
Id. As a result, Plaintiff seeks damages from
Carnival for the injuries she sustained as a result of the
incident. Plaintiff asserts claims for negligent maintenance,
negligent failure to warn, negligent training of shipboard
crewmembers, and negligent design against Carnival. The
relationship between the Plaintiff and the Defendant is
premised upon the purchase of a “Ticket Contract”
that sets forth certain terms and conditions. One of the
terms of the Ticket Contract was an agreement that any claim
for personal injury must be brought within one year from the
date of incident. Defendant now seeks dismissal of the claims
on the basis that the Plaintiff failed to file suit within
the one-year statute of limitations period.
pleading in a civil action must contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although a
complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations,
” it must provide “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (explaining that Rule
8(a)(2)'s pleading standard “demands more than an
accusation”). Nor can a complaint rest on
“‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557 (alteration in original)). “To survive
a motion to dismiss a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
whether a claim is barred by the statute of limitations
should be raised as an affirmative defense in the answer
rather than in a motion to dismiss. See La Grasta v.
First Union Secs., Inc., 358 F.3d 840, 845 (11th Cir.
2004) (“A statute of limitations bar is an affirmative
defense and plaintiffs are not required to negate an
affirmative defense in their complaint.”) (internal
citation and quotation omitted). However, if the complaint on
its face shows that the statute of limitations bars the
action, the defense can be raised by motion to dismiss.
Id.; see also Tello v. Dean Witter
Reynolds, Inc., 410 F.3d 1275, 1288 (11th Cir. 2005)
(granting a motion to dismiss on statute of limitations
grounds is appropriate if it is apparent from the face of the
complaint that the claim is time-barred).
Motion, Carnival argues that this action is barred by the
one-year statute of limitations contained in the
Defendant's Ticket Contract, ECF No. [6-1], and thus
should be dismissed with prejudice. ECF No. , at 3-6. In
Response, Plaintiff argues that a statute of limitations
defense is inappropriately raised at the dismissal stage.
Alternatively, Plaintiff argues that the statute of
limitations does not bar the action because the limitations
provision in the Ticket Contract was not “reasonably
communicated” to the Plaintiff. See generally
ECF No. .
Consideration of the Statute of Limitations Defense is
Court first addresses the procedural challenge that a statute
of limitations defense is not properly raised through a
motion to dismiss. A statute of limitations defense is
appropriately raised where on the face of the pleadings it
shows that the limitation period has expired. See
Gonsalvez v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc., 750 F.3d 1195,
1197 (11th Cir. 2013); see also Spadaro v. City of
Miramar, 855 F.Supp.2d 1317, 1328 (S.D. Fla. 2012). In
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court is generally
“limited to the four corners of the complaint . . . and
any documents referred to in the complaint which are central
to the claims.” Wilchombe v. Teevee Toons,
Inc., 555 F.3d 949, 959 (11th Cir. 2009) (citations
omitted). A defendant may also attach such central documents
to its motion to dismiss without converting the motion into a
motion for summary judgment. Brooks v. Blue Cross &
Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., 116 F.3d 1364, 1369 (11th
Cir. 1997). “A cruise passenger ticket contract is one
such document that, if it is central to a plaintiff's
claim, may be attached and considered without converting a
motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment.”
Amento v. Celebrity Cruises Inc., 2014 WL 11906598
(S.D. Fla. Oct. 30, 2014) (citing Racca v. Celebrity
Cruises, Inc., 606 F.Supp.2d 1373, 1375 (S.D. Fla.
2009)). Here, the Defendant has attached the Ticket Contract,
ECF No. [6-1], to the Motion and the Plaintiff references the
Ticket Contract in her Complaint. ECF No. , at ¶ 5.
While the Plaintiff challenges the Ticket Contract's
enforceability, she does not challenge its authenticity. And
because Plaintiff's claims are rooted in personal injury,
the Ticket Contract is central to Plaintiff's claims
based on its language. As such, the Court considers the
Ticket Contract in analyzing the Motion without converting it
into one for summary judgment.
limitation period provision expressed in the Ticket Contract
reads as follows:
. . . (a) Carnival shall not be liable for any claims
whatsoever for personal injury, illness or death of the
Guest, unless full particulars in writing are given to
Carnival within 185 days after the date of the injury, event,
illness or death giving rise to the claim. Suit to recover on
any such claim shall not be maintainable unless filed within
one year after the date of the injury, event, illness or
death, and unless served on Carnival within 120 ...