896 F.2d 1352 (11th Cir. 1990), 89-8228, Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Industries, Inc.

Docket Nº89-8228.
Citation896 F.2d 1352
Party NameHOME INSURANCE COMPANY, Home Indemnity Company, City Insurance Company, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. THOMAS INDUSTRIES, INC., A Foreign Corporation, American Stevedoring Corporation, a foreign corporation, TLM, Inc., as putative successor in interest to American Stevedoring Corp., a foreign corporation, Thomas Holding Company, Inc., a foreign corporat
Case DateMarch 22, 1990
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Page 1352

896 F.2d 1352 (11th Cir. 1990)

HOME INSURANCE COMPANY, Home Indemnity Company, City

Insurance Company, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

THOMAS INDUSTRIES, INC., A Foreign Corporation, American

Stevedoring Corporation, a foreign corporation, TLM, Inc.,

as putative successor in interest to American Stevedoring

Corp., a foreign corporation, Thomas Holding Company, Inc.,

a foreign corporation, Earl James Thomas, individually and

as officer and director of Thomas Industries, Inc., American

Stevedoring Corp., TLM, Inc., and Thomas Holding Company,

Inc., Lindsey James Thomas, individually and as officer and

director of Thomas Industries, Inc., American Stevedoring

Corp., TLM, Inc. and Thomas Holding Company, Inc., Kingsley

Head Thomas, individually and as officer and director of

Thomas Industries, Inc., American Stevedoring Corp., TLM,

Inc., and Thomas Holding Company, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 89-8228.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

March 22, 1990

Page 1353

David C. Marshall, Atlanta, Ga., Larry D. Thompson, William S. Duffey, Jr., Dwight J. Davis, Fred G. Codner, King & Spaulding, Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs-appellants.

J. Scott Jacobson, David Franklin Cooper, Holt, Ney, Zatcoff & Wasserman, Atlanta, Ga., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Before KRAVITCH and JOHNSON, Circuit Judges, and TUTTLE, Senior Circuit Judge.

KRAVITCH, Circuit Judge:

The Home Insurance Company appeals from the district court's dismissal of its action on the basis of improper venue and from the district court's denial of its motion to conduct additional discovery on the issue of venue. Because we find that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing the case for lack of venue, we reverse and remand.

BACKGROUND

This diversity action was filed by The Home Insurance Company, The Home Indemnity Company, and City Insurance Company (referred to collectively as "The Home") in the Northern District of Georgia. The case was filed against seven defendants, consisting of four corporations: Thomas Industries, Inc., American Stevedoring Corp. ("ASC"), TLM, Inc., and Thomas Holding Company, Inc. (referred to collectively as the "Thomas Companies") and three members of the Thomas family running those corporations: Earl James Thomas, Lindsey James Thomas, and

Page 1354

Kingsley Head Thomas (referred to collectively as "the Thomases").

The action arises out of earlier litigation between The Home and Kebo Limited, a company operated by the Thomases, in connection with an insurance agreement entered into by those parties in 1981. The insurance agreement related to the provision of workers' compensation for certain contract labor that ASC, a Thomas Company, provided to various stevedoring operations in the United States. 1 The agreement provided that The Home would not be ultimately liable for workers' compensation claims asserted under the policy that it issued. Instead, although The Home would issue payment checks to workers' compensation claimants, it would be reimbursed for all payments made. Kebo Limited was the offshore reinsurance company set up by the Thomases in Bermuda for the sole purpose of making reimbursements to The Home. The insurance agreement between The Home and Kebo was embodied in three contracts: a Reinsurance Agreement, a Security Agreement, and a Claim Management Agreement (referred to collectively as the "Reinsurance Agreement"). 2

In 1985, the arrangement between Kebo and The Home fell apart. The Home apparently sought an increase in the amount of the letter of credit maintained by Kebo. The Thomases resisted the increase and The Home notified the Thomases that it would not renew the policy upon its expiration. The Thomases, through Kebo, then ceased making reimbursements to The Home and suspended Kebo's business operations. In September 1985, Kebo filed suit against The Home in federal district court in Florida, alleging that The Home had mishandled and improperly paid claims for which Kebo became liable under the Reinsurance Agreement. The Home counterclaimed, seeking damages resulting from the Thomases' refusal to reimburse The Home for payments already made to claimants and for anticipated insurance payments for future workers' compensations claims. During the lawsuit, Kebo's Board of Directors voted to liquidate Kebo pursuant to the 1981 Bermuda Companies Act. Judgment in favor of The Home was entered in the amount of $567,711.14. The judgment has not been satisfied. The Home alleges that this is because Kebo's assets were squandered by the Thomases and the Thomas Companies.

In the instant suit, The Home seeks to pierce Kebo's corporate veil in order to hold the Thomases and the defendant companies that they own and control responsible for squandering Kebo's assets and otherwise defrauding The Home. To this end, The Home filed a four count complaint in the Northern District of Georgia ("Northern District") in August of 1988. Count I is a breach of contract claim, seeking to hold the defendants liable for damages resulting from Kebo's breach of contract. Count II seeks to pierce the corporate veil of Kebo in order to hold defendants liable for all damages suffered by The Home. Count III is a claim seeking punitive damages for fraud and conspiracy by the defendants designed to render Kebo judgment proof. Count IV alleges stubborn litigiousness for which The Home seeks costs of litigation and attorney's fees.

In September 1988, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that venue in the Northern District of Georgia was improper. In...

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  • Espie v. Washington National Insurance Co., 062714 ALMDC, 2:14cv6-MHT
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 11th Circuit Middle District of Alabama
    • June 27, 2014
    ...Estate of Myhra v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. , 695 F.3d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 2012) (quoting Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc. , 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990)). "Rule 12(b)(3) is a somewhat unique context of dismissal in which [courts] consciously look beyond the mere all......
  • McCoy v. Sandals Resorts International, Ltd., 111819 FLSDC, 19-cv-22462-BLOOM/Louis
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 11th Circuit Southern District of Florida
    • November 18, 2019
    ...[] facts and to construe such facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc., 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990) (citing Delong Equip. Co., 840 F.2d at In analyzing the application of a forum-selection clause, courts ......
  • Saint Francis Home Medical Equipment, LLC v. Sunrise Medical HHG, Inc., 081009 OKNDC, 08-CV-224-TCK-PJC
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 10th Circuit Northern District of Oklahoma
    • August 10, 2009
    ...motion to dismiss stage, a plaintiff must "present only a prima facie showing of venue." Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus. Inc., 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990) (cited with approval in Pierce, 137 F.3d at 1192)); M.K.C. Equip. Co. v. M.A.I.L. Code, Inc., 843 F.Supp. 679, 682 (D.......
  • Advanced Logistics Consulting, Inc. v. C. Enyeart LLC, 061609 MNDC, 09-720 (RHK/JJG)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit District of Minnesota
    • June 16, 2009
    ...(4th Cir. 2006); Pierce v. Shorty Small's of Branson Inc. , 137 F.3d 1190, 1192 (10th Cir. 1998); Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc. , 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. As for the alternative request to transfer, 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides that "[f]or the convenience of parties and wi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
72 cases
  • Espie v. Washington National Insurance Co., 062714 ALMDC, 2:14cv6-MHT
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 11th Circuit Middle District of Alabama
    • June 27, 2014
    ...Estate of Myhra v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. , 695 F.3d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 2012) (quoting Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc. , 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990)). "Rule 12(b)(3) is a somewhat unique context of dismissal in which [courts] consciously look beyond the mere all......
  • McCoy v. Sandals Resorts International, Ltd., 111819 FLSDC, 19-cv-22462-BLOOM/Louis
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 11th Circuit Southern District of Florida
    • November 18, 2019
    ...[] facts and to construe such facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc., 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990) (citing Delong Equip. Co., 840 F.2d at In analyzing the application of a forum-selection clause, courts ......
  • Saint Francis Home Medical Equipment, LLC v. Sunrise Medical HHG, Inc., 081009 OKNDC, 08-CV-224-TCK-PJC
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 10th Circuit Northern District of Oklahoma
    • August 10, 2009
    ...motion to dismiss stage, a plaintiff must "present only a prima facie showing of venue." Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus. Inc., 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990) (cited with approval in Pierce, 137 F.3d at 1192)); M.K.C. Equip. Co. v. M.A.I.L. Code, Inc., 843 F.Supp. 679, 682 (D.......
  • Advanced Logistics Consulting, Inc. v. C. Enyeart LLC, 061609 MNDC, 09-720 (RHK/JJG)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit District of Minnesota
    • June 16, 2009
    ...(4th Cir. 2006); Pierce v. Shorty Small's of Branson Inc. , 137 F.3d 1190, 1192 (10th Cir. 1998); Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc. , 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. As for the alternative request to transfer, 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides that "[f]or the convenience of parties and wi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results