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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Hellenic Investment Fund, Inc. (Hellenic), a ship-owning consortium, purchased a ship, the Marianna, from another ship-owning company, Inlet Navigation Company (Inlet). At all relevant times before, during, and after the purchase, the Marianna was classed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), an internationally recognized classification society. Under the header of the Marianna’s DNV classification certificate appear the words: “Issued under the provisions of the Rules of Det Norske Veritas.” The DNV classification status report indicated that the Marianna was current with her inspections but that several inspections were coming due before the anticipated purchase date. Before the scheduled delivery date, DNV conducted surveys on the Marianna and performed additional tests to ascertain the Marianna’s condition. In reliance upon DNV’s issuance of the clean class confirmation certificate, Hellenic purchased the Marianna from Inlet the same day the confirmation of class was issued. On the day of the purchase, inspectors from Hellenic’s insurers inspected the Marianna. The inspection, Hellenic maintains, revealed several deficiencies, which should have been revealed by the DNV inspections. A port-state control inspection in Montreal, Canada, turned up additional concerns with the vessel. As a result of the subsequent arrest by port-state authorities, Hellenic sold the Marianna. Hellenic, believing that the defects predated DNV’s confirmation of class certificate, brought suit against DNV for fraudulent misrepresentation. DNV sought to enforce a forum-selection clause requiring all disputes to be resolved in Norway, and moved the district court to dismiss the action. As a result, the district court determined that Hellenic was bound by the terms of DNV’s Rules and dismissed the action. HOLDING:The 5th Circuit stated: “Hellenic cannot embrace the Rules by bringing a claim . . . alleging, in essence, a violation of the DNV Rules without accepting the consequence of those Rules. Hellenic is estopped from denying the entire contract, including the forum-selection clause.” The Fifth Circuit held that Hellenic is bound by the DNV forum-selection clause. OPINION:Clement, J; Higginbotham, Dennis, and Clement, J.J.

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