Filipino appeals court reaffirms that crewmember claims are subject to arbitration

In a decision believed to be the first of its kind, an appellate court in the Philippines held that a cruise line crewmember’s tort-based claims were subject to the arbitration agreement in his employment contract. The cruise line paid death benefits pursuant to the applicable collective bargaining agreement, but the crewmember’s widow sued in the U.S. asserting that she was entitled to additional tort compensation. After the settlement and prior to suit being filed in the U.S., we coordinated the filing of a preemptive arbitration with Philippine counsel in the Philippines. The Philippine appeals court confirmed that tort-based crewmember claims arising from employment are subject to mandatory (POEA) arbitration. Read the decision here.