Transatlantic Lines LLC v. Portus Stevedoring LLC
ORDER granting 56 Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Cargo Loss Damages. Signed by Judge James I. Cohn on 7/17/2015. (ns)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 14-60528-CIV-COHN/SELTZER
TRANSATLANTIC LINES LLC,
PORTUS STEVEDORING LLC,
MOBRO MARINE INC. and MCALLISTER
TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO. INC.,
ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS FOR CARGO DAMAGES
THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment as to Cargo Loss Damages [DE 56] ("Motion"). The Court has reviewed the
Motion and the record in this case, and is otherwise advised in the premises.
This action arises from an unfortunate incident at sea in which a cargo-securing
system aboard the barge "Atlantic Trader" failed, and over 30 cargo containers were
damaged or lost overboard. Plaintiff Transatlantic Lines LLC ("Transatlantic") had
chartered the Atlantic Trader to bring cargo from Jacksonville, Florida and Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. Compl. ¶ 3. Transatlantic hired Defendant Portus Stevedoring LLC
("Portus") to load and secure cargo on the Atlantic Trader. Id. ¶ 6. In its Complaint,
Transatlantic alleges that Portus's carelessness in loading and securing the cargo
caused the cargo-securing system to fail. On this basis, Transatlantic has asserted
three claims against Portus: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied warranty of
workmanlike performance; and (3) negligence. Id. ¶¶ 14–27.
In the Motion, Portus requests summary judgment on or dismissal of
Transatlantic's claims to the extent Transatlantic seeks to recover for lost and damaged
cargo. Portus contends that Transatlantic did not own the cargo on the Atlantic Trader,
nor have the owners of the cargo sought to recover against Transatlantic. Portus
concludes that Transatlantic's claims for lost or damaged cargo fail as speculative and
unripe. DE 56 at 3–7.
In opposition to the Motion, Transatlantic does not challenge Portus's assertion
that its claims for lost or damaged cargo would be unripe. See DE 61 at 5. Instead,
Transatlantic argues that the Motion should be denied because it has not asserted any
claims against Portus for lost or damaged cargo. Id. at 3, 5.
A review of the Complaint reflects that Transatlantic has indeed pled claims
against Portus based in part upon lost or damaged cargo. See, e.g., Compl. ¶ 17
("Transatlantic sustained damages . . . including . . . loss and damage to cargo . . . ."),
¶ 23 ("As a . . . result of Portus' breach of the implied warranty of workmanlike
performance, . . . Transatlantic incurred extraordinary expenses and liabilities for lost
and damaged cargo and cargo containers."). However, in light of the parties' agreement
that such claims are unripe, the Court will dismiss these claims under Rule 12(b)(1) for
failure to present a ripe case or controversy. See generally Cheffer v. Reno, 55 F.3d
1517, 1523–24 (11th Cir. 1995). It is accordingly
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment as to Cargo Loss Damages [DE 56] is GRANTED. Plaintiff's claims in its
Complaint [DE 1] are DISMISSED for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction to the extent
they rest upon lost or damaged cargo.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Fort Lauderdale, Broward County,
Florida, this 17th day of July, 2015.
Copies provided to:
Counsel of record via CM/ECF
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?