99 F.3d 717 (5th Cir. 1996), 96-30095, World Tanker Carriers Corp. v. M/V Ya Mawlaya

Docket Nº:96-30095.
Citation:99 F.3d 717
Party Name:WORLD TANKER CARRIERS CORP., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MV YA MAWLAYA, her engines, boilers, tackle, furniture, apparel, etc., in rem, et al., Defendants. Kara Mara Shipping Company Limited; Holbud Ship Management, Ltd.; Holbud Ltd.; Hydery (P) Ltd., in personam; Vestman Shipping Co., Sperex Shipping Company, Limited; SNP Ship Management and Consultat
Case Date:November 14, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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99 F.3d 717 (5th Cir. 1996)

WORLD TANKER CARRIERS CORP., Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

MV YA MAWLAYA, her engines, boilers, tackle, furniture,

apparel, etc., in rem, et al., Defendants.

Kara Mara Shipping Company Limited; Holbud Ship Management,

Ltd.; Holbud Ltd.; Hydery (P) Ltd., in personam; Vestman

Shipping Co., Sperex Shipping Company, Limited; SNP Ship

Management and Consultation Bureau of Bombay; SNP Shipping

Service Private Limited; Roshanali Merali Roshanali

Rajabali Dewji; Hasnain Merali; Shaukat A. Merali,

Defendants-Appellees.

CIRPRIANO B., Plaintiff,

v.

NEW WORLD MT, her engines, boilers, tackle, furniture,

apparel, etc., in rem, et al., Defendants.

CEREOL ITALIA SRL, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

MV YA MAWLAYA, her engines, boilers, tackle, etc., et al.,

Defendants.

Salome de Guia ENRIQUEZ; Marisusa A. Recana, individually,

as widow and administratrix of the succession of Solito S.

Recana and as guardian/natural tutrix of the minor children,

April A. Recana, Jenny-Lynn A. Recana and Caroline A.

Recana; Corazon C. Amulong, individually, as widow and

administratrix of the succession of Felix C. Amulong and as

guardian/natural tutrix of the minor children Alexander

Amulong & Alexis Amulong; Conrado A. Mendoza, individually

and as administrator of the succession of his son, Edmundo

Mendoza; Felicidad A. Mendoza, mother of Edmundo Mendoza;

Arlene Manzanida, individually, as widow and administratrix

of the succession of Noli Manzanida and as guardian/natural

tutrix of the minor children, Krishna Manzanida, Krishtian

Ace Manzanida & Krizhzar Manzanida, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

WORLD TANKER CARRIERS CORP., et al., Defendants.

Arlene Manzanida, individually, as widow and administratrix

of the succession of Noli Manzanida, and as guardian/natural

tutrix of the minor children, Krishna Manzanida, Krishtian

Ace Manzanida and Krizhzar Manzanida, et al., Claimants,

Cereol Italia, SRL, Claimant-Appellant,

Cipriano B. Dela Cruz, Claimant-Appellant,

Kara Mara Shipping Company, Ltd., as Disponent Owner of the

M/V Ya Mawlaya, Petitioner.

Lorena A. SUMBI, individually as widow and administratrix of

the succession of Emilio V. Sumbi, and as guardian/natural

tutrix of the minor children, Ramil A. Sumbi and Emmanuel A.

Sumbi, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

WORLD TANKER CARRIERS CORP., et al., Defendants.

No. 96-30095.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 14, 1996

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Antonio J. Rodriguez, Mary Campbell Hubbard, Alanson Trigg Chenault, IV, Rice Fowler, New Orleans, LA, Brian D. Starer, James Theo Shirley, Jr., Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens, New York City, for World Tanker Carriers Corp., plaintiff-appellant.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DUHE and BENAVIDES, Circuit Judges.

DUHE, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiff-Appellant World Tanker Carriers Corp. appeals the district court's dismissal of its maritime law claim against Defendants-Appellees M/V Ya Mawlaya, et al. 1 for want of personal jurisdiction. The court held that Appellant could not assert personal jurisdiction over Appellees pursuant to either the Louisiana long-arm statute or Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(k)(2). Because we conclude that the district court erred in its interpretation of Rule 4(k)(2), we reverse and remand.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Two vessels, the M/V Ya Mawlaya ("Ya Mawlaya") and the M/V New World ("New World"), collided in international waters off the coast of Portugal. The New World, an ocean-going tanker registered under the laws of Hong Kong and owned by Appellant World Tanker Carriers Corp. ("World Tanker") of Liberia, was proceeding from Gabon to France. The Ya Mawlaya, an ocean-going bulk carrier registered under the laws of Cyprus, was proceeding to Italy with a cargo of soybeans, owned by Cereol Italia Srl. 2 and loaded in Destrahan, Louisiana, within the port of New Orleans. The ownership of the Ya Mawlaya is unclear; World Tanker alleges that the ship's registered owner is Kara Mara Shipping Company, Ltd., of Cyprus, while Appellees claim that the owner is Vestman Shipping Company, Ltd., also of Cyprus. Both have been named as defendants along with others, as individuals and as companies, all foreign, who allegedly have ownership or management interests in the Ya Mawlaya, Vestman Shipping Company, Ltd., and/or Kara Mara Shipping Company, Ltd.

The collision caused an explosion and fire, resulting in the deaths of eight crew members, personal injury to others, and property damage to the vessels and their cargoes. Several lawsuits were filed as a result: World Tanker sued Kara Mara under the general maritime law for damages arising from the collision (Civil Action number 94-4190); Cereol Italia Srl., the owner of the Ya Mawlaya 's cargo, sued both Kara Mara and World Tanker under the Carriage of Goods at Sea Act (COGSA), 14 U.S.C. 1300 et seq., for the loss of its cargo (95-511); New World crewmen or their survivors sued World Tanker and Kara Mara for injuries and deaths (95-396, 95-1151, and 95-3295). In response to these suits, Kara Mara Shipping Company, Ltd. filed a limitation action (95-1948). All suits were consolidated.

Appellees moved to dismiss all proceedings against them, asserting as a defense lack of personal jurisdiction. 3 World Tanker, the lead plaintiff, opposed this motion, advancing two jurisdictional theories. First, World Tanker asserts that Appellees are subject to jurisdiction in the Eastern District of Louisiana under the Louisiana long-arm statute; this claim depends on the extent of Appellee's "minimum contacts" with Louisiana. Second, World Tanker argues that even if

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the court finds that minimum contacts have not been established, Appellees are nonetheless subject to the long-arm jurisdiction of the district court pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(k)(2) based on their contacts with the nation as a whole.

The district court disagreed, granting Appellees' motion to dismiss and holding that neither the state long-arm statute nor Rule 4(k)(2) provides a basis for personal jurisdiction over Appellees. The court first found that World Tanker failed to establish a prima facie case of jurisdiction demonstrating Appellees' minimum contacts with Louisiana sufficient to satisfy the due process requirements of the state long-arm statute. The court then dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction on the theory that it could not order the requested additional jurisdictional discovery under Rule 4(k)(2) because the consolidated cases did not present a claim "arising under federal law," the jurisdictional predicate of Rule...

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