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§ 183c. Stipulations limiting liability for negligence invalid; contract limitations allowed

(a) It shall be unlawful for the manager, agent, master, or owner of any vessel transporting passengers between ports of the United States or between any such port and a foreign port to insert in any rule, regulation, contract, or agreement any provision or limitation
(1) purporting, in the event of loss of life or bodily injury arising from the negligence or fault of such owner or his servants, to relieve such owner, master, or agent from liability, or from liability beyond any stipulated amount, for such loss or injury, or
(2) purporting in such event to lessen, weaken, or avoid the right of any claimant to a trial by court of competent jurisdiction on the question of liability for such loss or injury, or the measure of damages therefor. All such provisions or limitations contained in any such rule, regulation, contract, or agreement are declared to be against public policy and shall be null and void and of no effect.
(b)
(1) Subsection (a) of this section shall not prohibit provisions or limitations in contracts, agreements, or ticket conditions of carriage with passengers which relieve a crewmember, manager, agent, master, owner, or operator of a vessel from liability for infliction of emotional distress, mental suffering, or psychological injury so long as such provisions or limitations do not limit such liability if the emotional distress, mental suffering, or psychological injury was—
(A) the result of physical injury to the claimant caused by the negligence or fault of a crewmember or the manager, agent, master, owner, or operator;
(B) the result of the claimant having been at actual risk of physical injury, and such risk was caused by the negligence or fault of a crewmember or the manager, agent, master, owner, or operator; or
(C) intentionally inflicted by a crewmember or the manager, agent, master, owner, or operator.
(2) Nothing in this subsection is intended to limit the liability of a crewmember or the manager, agent, master, owner, or operator of a vessel in a case involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape.

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