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United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

HAROLD LEONEL PINEDA LINDO, lllllllllllllllllllllPlaintiff-Appellant, v. NCL (BAHAMAS), LTD, d.b.a. NCL, lllllllllllllllllllllDefendant-Appellee.

No. 10–10367 _ D.C. Docket No. 1:09–cv–22926–DLG

Decided: August 29, 2011

Before BARKETT, HULL and KRAVITCH, Circuit Judges.   HULL, Circuit Judge:  Plaintiff–Appellant Harold Leonel Pineda Lindo (“Lindo”) appeals the district court's enforcement of the arbitration agreement in his employment contract with Defendant–Appellee NCL (Bahamas) Ltd. (“NCL”).  Lindo sues NCL on a single count of Jones Act negligence, pursuant to 46 U.S.C. § 30104.   He claims that NCL breached its duty to supply him with a safe place to work.   The district court granted NCL's motion to compel arbitration and dismissed Lindo's complaint.   Given the New York Convention and governing Supreme Court and Circuit precedent, we must enforce the arbitration clause in Plaintiff Lindo's employment contract, at least at this initial arbitration-enforcement stage.   After review and oral argument, we affirm the district court's order compelling arbitration of Lindo's Jones Act negligence claim.   I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND Plaintiff Lindo is a citizen and resident of Nicaragua.   Defendant NCL is a Bermuda corporation that operates cruise ships, with its principal place of business in Miami, Florida.   See Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd., 545 U.S. 119, 126, 125 S.Ct. 2169, 2175 (2005) (referring to NCL as “a Bermuda corporation with a principal place of business in Miami, Florida”).   NCL employed Lindo to serve as a crewmember on the M/S Norwegian Dawn, which flies a Bahamian flag of convenience.1  The ship typically departs from ports in the United States and travels to international locales, such as Bermuda, Canada, and venues throughout the Caribbean.   Lindo alleges that in December 2008, while acting in the scope of his employment on NCL's private island in the Bahamas,2 he injured his back after he was ordered to transport heavy trash bags to the ship.   He later underwent surgery to correct the injury.   A. Lindo's Employment Contract Lindo's employment with NCL was governed by (1) a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) negotiated by NCL and the Norwegian Seafarers' Union, and (2) an employment contract (the “Contract”), which Lindo executed in January 2008.   Lindo's Contract provides that the “[e]mployee and the employment relationship established hereunder shall at all times be subject to and governed by the CBA.” Lindo's Contract also provides that, notwithstanding whether he is a union member, he “understands and agrees that with respect to the Employer's obligations under general maritime law in the event of injury or illness, the terms of the CBA control and the Employee will be provided with benefits, including unearned wages, maintenance, cure and medical care and will be compensated in accordance with said CBA.” Lindo's Contract “acknowledges that he[ ] has had an opportunity to review said CBA.” Paragraph 12 of Lindo's Contract specifies that all Jones Act claims will be resolved by binding arbitration pursuant to the United Nations Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“the New York Convention” or “the Convention”):  Seaman agrees ․ that any and all claims ․ relating to or in any way connected with the Seaman's shipboard employment with Company including ․ claims such as personal injuries [and] Jones Act claims ․ shall be referred to and resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the United Nations Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards․

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