Columbus-America Discovery Group v. Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co., COLUMBUS-AMERICA

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore RUSSELL, WIDENER, and HALL; K.K. HALL
Citation56 F.3d 556
Decision Date14 June 1995
Docket NumberCOLUMBUS-AMERICA,Nos. 94-1105,94-1106 and 94-1200
PartiesDISCOVERY GROUP; Jack F. Grimm; Joanne Lampe Charlton, Personal Representative of the Estate of Harry G. John, Plaintiffs-Appellees, and Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Plaintiff, v. ATLANTIC MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; Insurance Company of North America; Salvage Association; London Assurance; Alliance Assurance Company, Limited; Royal Exchange Assurance; Indemnity Marine Assurance Company, Limited; Marine Insurance Company, Limited; Superintendent of Insurance of the State of New York, Claimants-Appellants, and The Unidentified Wrecked and Abandoned Sailing Vessel, its engines, tackle, apparel, appurtenances, cargo, etc., located within a box defined by the following coordinates: Northern Boundary--31 degrees 37 minutes North Latitude; Southern Boundary--31 degrees 33 minutes North Latitude; Western Boundary--77 degrees 2 minutes West Longitude; Eastern Boundary--76 degrees 57 minutes West Longitude, (believed to be the S.S. Central America), in rem, Defendant, Cigna Group, Commercial Union Assurance Company, Limited; Commercial Union Insurance Company; William H. McGee & Company, Incorporated; Royal Insurance; Royal Insurance Company, Limited; Royal Insurance Company of America; Chubb & Son, Incorporated; Sun Alliance Group; Underwriters at Lloyd's; Greof America Corporation; Guardian Royal Exchange; Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance Company; Sun Insurance Company of New York; Sun Insurance Office, Limited; Great Western Insurance Company; Sun Mutual Insurance Company; Union Mutual Insurance Company; Oriental Mutual Insurance Company; Commercial Mutual Insurance Company; Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company; New York Mutual Insurance Company; Pacific Mutual Insurance Company; Indemnity Marine; London Associated Corporation; Royal Associated Corporation; Royal Marine; Indemnity Mutual; Royal Exchange & London Offices; Union Bank of London; Commonwealth Fire Insurance Company; Dennis Standefer; The R/V Liberty Star, her master, officers, crew a

Page 556

56 F.3d 556
1995 A.M.C. 1985
COLUMBUS-AMERICA DISCOVERY GROUP; Jack F. Grimm; Joanne
Lampe Charlton, Personal Representative of the
Estate of Harry G. John, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
and
Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
ATLANTIC MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; Insurance Company of
North America; Salvage Association; London Assurance;
Alliance Assurance Company, Limited; Royal Exchange
Assurance; Indemnity Marine Assurance Company, Limited;
Marine Insurance Company, Limited; Superintendent of
Insurance of the State of New York, Claimants-Appellants,
and
The Unidentified Wrecked and Abandoned Sailing Vessel, its
engines, tackle, apparel, appurtenances, cargo, etc.,
located within a box defined by the following coordinates:
Northern Boundary--31 degrees 37 minutes North Latitude;
Southern Boundary--31 degrees 33 minutes North Latitude;
Western Boundary--77 degrees 2 minutes West Longitude;
Eastern Boundary--76 degrees 57 minutes West Longitude,
(believed to be the S.S. Central America), in rem, Defendant,
Cigna Group, Commercial Union Assurance Company, Limited;
Commercial Union Insurance Company; William H. McGee &
Company, Incorporated; Royal Insurance; Royal Insurance
Company, Limited; Royal Insurance Company of America;
Chubb & Son, Incorporated; Sun Alliance Group;
Underwriters at Lloyd's; Greof America Corporation;
Guardian Royal Exchange; Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance
Company; Sun Insurance Company of New York; Sun Insurance
Office, Limited; Great Western Insurance Company; Sun
Mutual Insurance Company; Union Mutual Insurance Company;
Oriental Mutual Insurance Company; Commercial Mutual
Insurance Company; Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company;
New York Mutual Insurance Company; Pacific Mutual Insurance
Company; Indemnity Marine; London Associated
Corporation; Royal Associated Corporation; Royal
Marine; Indemnity Mutual; Royal Exchange & London Offices;
Union Bank of London; Commonwealth Fire Insurance Company;
Dennis Standefer; The R/V Liberty Star, her master,
officers, crew and all persons aboard; Board of Trustees of
Columbia University; Lamont-Doherty Geological Institute;
S.S. George Law Partnership; Boston Salvage Consultants,
Incorporated, Claimants.
American Institute of Marine Underwriters; The Board of
Underwriters of New York; The Explorers Club; The National
Maritime Historical Society; The National Association of
Academies of Science, Amici Curiae.
COLUMBUS-AMERICA DISCOVERY GROUP, Plaintiff-Appellant,
and
Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York;
Jack F. Grimm; Joanne Lampe Charlton, Personal
Representative of the Estate of Harry G.
John, Plaintiffs,
v.
ATLANTIC MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY; Insurance Company of
North America; Salvage Association; London Assurance;
Alliance Assurance Company, Limited; Royal Exchange
Assurance; Indemnity Marine Assurance Company, Limited;
Marine Insurance Company, Limited; Superintendent of
Insurance of the State of New York, Claimants-Appellees,
and
The Unidentified Wrecked and Abandoned Sailing Vessel, its
engines, tackle, apparel, appurtenances, cargo, etc.,
located within a box defined by the following coordinates:
Northern Boundary--31 degrees 37 minutes North Latitude;
Southern Boundary--31 degrees 33 minutes North Latitude;
Western Boundary--77 degrees 2 minutes West Longitude;
Eastern Boundary--76 degrees 57 minutes West Longitude,
(believed to be the S.S. Central America), in rem, Defendant,
Cigna Group, Commercial Union Assurance Company, Limited;
Commercial Union Insurance Company; William H. McGee &
Company, Incorporated; Royal Insurance; Royal Insurance
Company, Limited; Royal Insurance Company of America;
Chubb & Son, Incorporated; Sun Alliance Group;
Underwriters at Lloyd's; Greof America Corporation;
Guardian Royal Exchange; Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance
Company; Sun Insurance Company of New York; Sun Insurance
Office, Limited; Great Western Insurance Company; Sun
Mutual Insurance Company; Union Mutual Insurance Company;
Oriental Mutual Insurance Company; Commercial Mutual
Insurance Company; Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company;
New York Mutual Insurance Company; Pacific Mutual Insurance
Company; Indemnity Marine; London Associated Corporation;
Royal Associated Corporation; Royal Marine; Indemnity
Mutual; Royal Exchange & London Offices; Union Bank of
London; Commonwealth Fire Insurance Company; Dennis
Standefer; The R/V Liberty Star, her master, officers, crew
and all persons aboard; Board of Trustees of Columbia
University; Lamont-Doherty Geological Institute; S.S.
George Law Partnership; Boston Salvage Consultants,
Incorporated, Claimants.
American Institute of Marine Underwriters; The Board of
Underwriters of New York; The Explorers Club; The National
Maritime Historical Society; The National Association of
Academies of Science, Amici Curiae.
Jack F. GRIMM; Joanne Lampe Charlton, Personal
Representative of the Estate of Harry G. John,
Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
COLUMBUS-AMERICA DISCOVERY GROUP, Plaintiff-Appellee,
and
Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
The UNIDENTIFIED WRECKED AND ABANDONED SAILING VESSEL, its
engines, tackle, apparel, appurtenances, cargo, etc.,
located within a box defined by the following coordinates:
Northern Boundary--31 degrees 37 minutes North Latitude;
Southern Boundary--31 degrees 33 minutes North Latitude;
Western Boundary--77 degrees 2 minutes West Longitude;
Eastern Boundary--76 degrees 57 minutes West Longitude,
(believed to be the S.S. Central America), in rem, Defendant,
Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company; Insurance Company of
North America; Salvage Association; London Assurance;
Alliance Assurance Company, Limited; Royal Exchange
Assurance; Indemnity Marine Assurance Company, Limited;
Marine Insurance Company, Limited; Superintendent of
Insurance of The State of New York; Cigna Group, Commercial
Union Assurance Company, Limited; Commercial Union
Insurance Company; William H. McGee & Company,
Incorporated; Royal Insurance; Royal Insurance Company,
Limited; Royal Insurance Company of America; Chubb & Son,
Incorporated; Sun Alliance Group; Underwriters at Lloyd's;
Greof America Corporation; Guardian Royal Exchange;
Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance Company; Sun Insurance
Company of New York; Sun Insurance Office, Limited; Great
Western Insurance Company; Sun Mutual Insurance Company;
Union Mutual Insurance Company; Oriental Mutual Insurance
Company; Commercial Mutual Insurance Company; Mercantile
Mutual Insurance Company; New York Mutual Insurance
Company; Pacific Mutual Insurance Company; Indemnity
Marine; London Associated Corporation; Royal Associated
Corporation; Royal Marine; Indemnity Mutual; Royal
Exchange & London Offices; Union Bank of London;
Commonwealth Fire Insurance Company; Dennis Standefer; The
R/V Liberty Star, her master, officers, crew and all persons
aboard; Board of Trustees of Columbia University;
Lamont-Doherty Geological Institute; S.S. George Law
Partnership; Boston Salvage Consultants, Incorporated, Claimants.
American Institute of Marine Underwriters; The Board of
Underwriters of New York; The Explorers Club; The National
Maritime Historical Society; The National Association of
Academies of Science, Amici Curiae.
Nos. 94-1105, 94-1106 and 94-1200.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued March 6, 1995.
Decided June 14, 1995.

Page 560

ARGUED: Guilford D. Ware, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C., Norfolk, VA; George R. Daly, Marilyn Lee Lytle, Bigham, Englar, Jones & Houston, New York City; John H. Reilly, Jr., Dickerson & Reilly, New York City, for appellants. Robert Ward Trafford, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, Columbus, OH; Richard T. Robol, Columbus-America Discovery Group, Columbus, OH, for appellees. ON BRIEF: James L. Chapman, IV, Martha M. Poindexter, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C., Norfolk, VA; Douglas A. Jacobsen, Bigham, Englar, Jones & Houston, New York City, for appellants. William J. Kelly, Jr., James D. Curphey, David R. Cohen, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, Columbus, OH; Jane E. Rindsberg, Columbus-America Discovery Group, Columbus, OH; R. Hewitt Pate, Hunton & Williams, Richmond, VA; David N. Ventker, Timothy M. Richardson, Huff, Poole & Mahoney, P.C., Virginia Beach, VA, for appellees. Allan S. Reynolds, Reynolds, Smith & Winters, Norfolk, VA, for amici curiae American Institute of Marine Underwriters, et al. Steven T. Catlett, Jeffrey S. Sutton, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, Columbus, OH; Barbara Hoffman, Schwartz, Weiss, Steckler & Hoffman, New York City, for amicus curiae Explorers Club. Alan Garrick Choate, Baltimore, MD; Alison Little, Pepper Pike, OH, for amici curiae Maritime Historical Soc., et al.

 TABLE OF CONTENTS
                 I. INTRODUCTION 561
                 II. THE INTERVENORS' CLAIM 562
                 A. A Tripartite Alliance 562
                 B. Ryan's search 563
                 C. The Columbus-America Effort 564
                 D. From the Control Room to the Courtroom 565
                 1. The Intervenors' Proprietary Interest in the CONRAD Data 566
                 2. Columbus-America's Alleged Misuse of the Data 567
                III. THE SALVAGE AWARD 568
                 A. The Doctrine of Unclean Hands 569
                 1. The CONRAD Data Revisited 569
                 2. Columbus-America's Disclosures to the District Court 569
                 B. The Moiety Rule 570
                 C. The BLACKWALL Analysis 571
                 1. The Labor Expended by the Salvor 571
                 2. The Salvor's Promptitude, Skill, and Energy 571
                 3. The Value of the Property Employed by the Salvors 572
                 4. The Risk Incurred by the Salvors 572
                 5. The Value of the Property Saved 572
                 6. The Degree of Danger to the Salvaged Property 572
                 7. The Salvor's Preservation of the Historical and 573
                 Archaeological Value of the Wreck and Cargo
                 8. Other Considerations 574
                 IV. THE MARKETING RULING 574
                 V. EVIDENCE OF THE UNDERWRITERS' OWNERSHIP 575
                 VI. CONCLUSION 576
                ----------
                

Page 561

Before RUSSELL, WIDENER, and HALL, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed and remanded by published opinion. Judge HALL wrote the opinion, in which Judge RUSSELL and Judge WIDENER joined.

OPINION

K.K. HALL,...

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154 practice notes
  • Matarese v. Archstone Pentagon City (f/K/A Parc Vista), Case No. 1:09–CV–0857.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • May 31, 2011
    ...interest, or bias. Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see Columbus–Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 567 (4th Cir.1995) (internal quotation omitted) (stating that that factfinder is in a better position to make judgments about the reliability of some f......
  • Wingerter v. Chester Quarry Co., No. 98-3069
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 11, 1998
    ...opposed to merely procedural, tactical, or adjectival entitlements"); see also Columbus-America Discovery Group v. Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 562 n.6 (4th Cir.) (citing Martha's Vineyard), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 938 (1995). The vast majority of courts construe sec. 1292(a)(3) stri......
  • USA v. Chuvala Vann, No. 09-4298.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • September 24, 2010
    ...Filtration Corp., 599 F.3d 403, 418-19 (4th Cir.2010) (King, J., dissenting); see also Columbus-Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 575-76 (4th Cir.1995) (“It is a basic tenet of our legal system that, although appellate courts often review facts found by a judge or jury ......
  • United States v. Hamidullin, No. 15-4788
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • April 18, 2018
    ...Filtration Corp. , 599 F.3d 403, 419 (4th Cir. 2010) (King, J., dissenting) (citing Columbus–Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co. , 56 F.3d 556, 575–76 (4th Cir. 1995) ("It is a basic tenet of our legal system that, although appellate courts often review facts found by a judge or jury .......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
159 cases
  • Matarese v. Archstone Pentagon City (f/K/A Parc Vista), Case No. 1:09–CV–0857.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • May 31, 2011
    ...interest, or bias. Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see Columbus–Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 567 (4th Cir.1995) (internal quotation omitted) (stating that that factfinder is in a better position to make judgments about the reliability of some f......
  • Wingerter v. Chester Quarry Co., No. 98-3069
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • September 11, 1998
    ...opposed to merely procedural, tactical, or adjectival entitlements"); see also Columbus-America Discovery Group v. Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 562 n.6 (4th Cir.) (citing Martha's Vineyard), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 938 (1995). The vast majority of courts construe sec. 1292(a)(3) stri......
  • USA v. Chuvala Vann, No. 09-4298.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • September 24, 2010
    ...Filtration Corp., 599 F.3d 403, 418-19 (4th Cir.2010) (King, J., dissenting); see also Columbus-Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co., 56 F.3d 556, 575-76 (4th Cir.1995) (“It is a basic tenet of our legal system that, although appellate courts often review facts found by a judge or jury ......
  • United States v. Hamidullin, No. 15-4788
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • April 18, 2018
    ...Filtration Corp. , 599 F.3d 403, 419 (4th Cir. 2010) (King, J., dissenting) (citing Columbus–Am. Discovery Grp. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co. , 56 F.3d 556, 575–76 (4th Cir. 1995) ("It is a basic tenet of our legal system that, although appellate courts often review facts found by a judge or jury .......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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