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Foreign resort operators and hotel companies also employ tactics for skirting liability. Many resorts include “standard” legal disclaimers in fine print at the bottom of a travel agreement where only a few people will take the time to read them. Many times, they will appear to be a harmless part of the hotel check-in process that most folks overlook because they are on vacation, not engaged in a serious business transaction. Resorts know that guests would rather get their kids to the pool or have a rum punch than wrangle over what appears to be a benign part of the check-in process.

One of the key disclaimers in a check-in document involves the “forum selection clause.” This language allows the hotel or resort to choose the country where any potential personal injury, products liability or wrongful death lawsuit will be filed. That also means if a serious accident occurs in The Bahamas, Mexico or Jamaica, the law of that country will apply to the case.

Why do travel providers include such a provision and why would it matter to a U.S. citizen or resident? The answer is simple: It is far more difficult to bring, let alone win, such a lawsuit in

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