Hartford Fire Insurance Company v. The Harborview Marina and Yacht Club a/k/a The Harborview Marina & Yacht Club Community Association Inc
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Peter J. Messitte on 7/5/2017. (aos, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
THE HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE
Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant
THE HARBORVIEW MARINA &
YACHT CLUB COMMUNITY
Defendant and Counter-Claimant
Civ. No. PJM 16-769
Several parties are engaged in a dispute over the 2014 collapse of a pier in Baltimore.
The case began when the Hartford Fire Insurance Company (the “Hartford”)—which
insured the pier—sued Harborview Marina & Yacht Club Community Association, Inc.
(“Harborview”)—which owns the pier—seeking a declaratory judgment to the effect that there is
no coverage for the collapse of the pier under Harborview’s policy with the Hartford.
Harborview counterclaimed, asserting that the Hartford breached the insurance contract and
failed to act in good faith when it denied coverage under the policy.1
Since then, the Hartford and Harborview have brought two other parties into the fold. The
Hartford filed a third-party claim against C.A. Lindman, Inc. (“C.A. Lindman”)—a contractor
which was using the pier to complete construction and maintenance on the façade of a nearby
building at the time the pier collapsed. Harborview then filed a third-party cross claim against
C.A. Lindman, and thereafter, Harborview filed a third-party complaint against Coleman
Harborview originally sought a preliminary injunction requiring the Hartford to maintain the policy at
current rates until the instant dispute was resolved. However, the parties stipulated to dismissal of this
counterclaim. See Stip. Of Dism., ECF No. 21.
Consulting (“Coleman”)—the engineer and consultant on the façade construction and
Coleman has filed a Motion to Dismiss Harborview’s Third-Party Complaint (ECF No.
For the following reasons, the Motion will be DENIED.
In 2014, the Hartford, through its broker Insurance, Inc., approached Harborview about
purchasing insurance coverage for Harborview’s docks and piers at Harborview Drive,
Baltimore, Maryland. Compl. ¶ 8, ECF No. 1. Harborview was looking to insure a number of its
piers, including one that began beyond the eastern side of the building at Pierside Drive and
extended into the Baltimore harbor. Id. ¶ 9. Accordingly, Harborview obtained from the Hartford
a “Marina Operators Legal Liability and Boat Dealer Policy,” Policy No. 30 ML HS9073 (the
“Policy”), effective June 26, 2014 to June 26, 2015 providing aggregate combined coverage of
$5.1 million. Compl., Ex. 1, ECF No. 1-1.
Hartford submits that when Harborview applied for insurance the pier was actually in a
state of advanced deterioration, and was inherently defective in design and/or construction.
Compl. ¶ 10. Despite these deficiencies, says the Hartford, Harborview represented to it that the
pier was of substantially newer construction, reconstruction, or refurbishment and in
substantially new, or as good as new condition. Id. ¶ 11. The Hartford says Harborview never
disclosed the true condition of the pier. Id. ¶ 12.
On November 22, 2014, the pier failed, id. ¶ 17, in consequence of which Harborview
made a claim under the Policy for $5.1 million (the “Claim”). Id. ¶ 18. Pursuant to its rights
under the Policy, the Hartford investigated the Claim, id. ¶ 19, but at the conclusion of its
investigation, decided that the Claim was not covered because the pier failure was due to age,
wear and tear, gradual deterioration, wasted condition, inherent vice or defective repair, not due
to a fortuity or any covered risk. Id. ¶¶ 20–21. The Hartford thus denied coverage. Id. ¶ 20.
On these facts, the Hartford seeks a declaratory judgment that (1) there is no coverage for
the claim under the Policy, (2) the claim is not covered for want of fortuity, (3) Harborview
breached the Conditions of Coverage under the Policy, and (4) coverage for the pier under the
Policy is void and unenforceable. Id. ¶¶ 25, 29, 35, 38.2
Harborview has counterclaimed against the Hartford, alleging breach of contract under
the Policy and failure of the insurance company to act in good faith, and asks for damages in the
amount of $5.1 million. Def’s. Counterclaims ¶¶ 41, 43, 46, 49, 51, 60, ECF No. 10. Harborview
submits that prior to issuing the Policy, the Hartford failed to survey or investigate the pier and
the rest of the insured property, and therefore failed to draft a policy that properly accounted for
Harborview’s freestanding piers. Id. ¶ 12. According to Harborview, the Hartford also failed to
properly or fully investigate the cause of the collapse, ignoring the role played by a third-party
contractor. Id. ¶ 21. Harborview further submits that the Hartford reinterpreted the Policy in a
way that created exclusions to coverage that did not exist at the time of the suffered loss. Id. ¶ 20.
Then came the Hartford’s third-party Complaint against C.A. Lindman, seeking
contribution and indemnification against Harborview’s counter-claims.3 ECF No. 38. The
The Hartford originally sought declaratory judgment in admiralty, claiming that the Court had
jurisdiction over the dispute based on both admiralty jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. Harborview
filed a Motion for Partial Dismissal for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (ECF No. 6), asking that the
Court dismiss any claim based on admiralty. On December 9, 2016, the Court granted Harborview’s
Motion, declaring that it lacked admiralty jurisdiction in the case and that it would proceed solely
pursuant to diversity jurisdiction. See ECF Nos. 26, 27.
C.A. Lindman had a contract with 100 Harborview Condominium—a high-rise condominium building
unaffiliated with Harborview but located adjacent to the pier—to complete construction and maintenance
on the façade of the condominium. See ECF No. 42. Lindman’s use of Harborview’s pier was allowed by
Hartford argues that if it is held liable to Harborview, C.A. Lindman should be deemed
responsible for any required payments because the damages allegedly sustained by Harborview
were the proximate result of the actions of C.A. Lindman, its agents or subcontractors.
Harborview then filed its own cross-claim against C.A. Lindman (ECF No. 42), asserting that if
the Hartford’s claims for declaratory relief are granted fully or in part, C.A. Lindman should be
held liable for the damages arising from and related to the pier collapse. C.A. Lindman has
answered both complaints. ECF Nos. 46, 73. Harborview has also filed yet another third-party
claim (i.e., impleader), this time against Coleman Consulting, alleging that Coleman, as the
consultant on the façade construction and maintenance project, was negligent in its use of the
pier and was therefore jointly and severally liable with C.A. Lindman for the damages and
liabilities arising from the collapse.4 ECF No. 50. According to Harborview, Coleman breached
its duty of care to ensure that the pier was used in a safe and non-negligent manner by failing to
inspect the pier or ascertain its load-bearing capacity.
On March 29, 2017, Coleman filed a Motion to Dismiss Harborview’s Third-Party
Complaint (ECF No. 53) on the grounds that the Third-Party Complaint fails to state a claim and,
in the alternative, because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim.5 Coleman
the condominium by reason of an easement the condominium held vis-à-vis- the pier. See ECF No. 42 at ¶
Harborview alleges that Coleman also had a contract with 100 Harborview Condominium, see footnote
3, supra, wherein Coleman agreed to provide consulting, inspection, oversight, and management services
for the construction phase of the façade rehabilitation. See ECF No. 50 at ¶ 9. According to Harborview,
Coleman also created the Site Plan for the façade project. Id. at ¶ 10. Coleman’s relationship to the pier,
as was C.A. Lindman’s, was based on the condominium’s easement as to the pier.
The Court held a hearing on June 9, 2017, at which it intended to hear oral argument on Coleman’s
Motion to Dismiss. However, the hearing did not progress past discussions regarding the interplay
between the present case and a parallel state case in the Baltimore City Circuit Court (“the Baltimore
case”): Harborview Marina and Yacht Club Community Association, Inc. v. C.A. Lindman, Inc. et al.,
Case No. 24-C-16005758. While numerous options for avoiding duplicative litigation were discussed and
the hearing adjourned so the parties could contemplate those positions, the parties eventually failed to
reach unanimity as to how to proceed. Accordingly, the Court has decided to go forward on Coleman’s
Motion to Dismiss without the need for oral argument. See ECF No. 77.
argues that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14 does not permit the claim Harborview asserts
against it and that the Court lacks supplemental jurisdiction over it.
II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW
A. Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
A party may move for dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
where the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims alleged in the complaint. Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1).
Federal courts are courts of limited subject matter jurisdiction: they
“possess only the jurisdiction authorized them by the United States Constitution and by federal
statute.” See United States ex rel. Vuyyuru v. Jadhav, 555 F.3d 337, 347 (4th Cir. 2009) (citing
Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205, 127 S. Ct. 2360, 2365, 168 L.Ed.2d 96 (2007)). As the party
asserting jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the district court has subject
matter jurisdiction. See Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co. v. United States, 945
F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991). When a district court determines that it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over an action, it must dismiss the action. Vuyyuru, 555 F.3d at 347 (citing Arbaugh
v. Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 506-07, 126 S. Ct. 1235, 163 L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006)). In
considering whether to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, the court may consider “evidence outside
of the pleadings without converting the proceeding into one for summary judgment.” White Tail
Park, Inc. v. Stroube, 413 F.3d 451, 459 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Richmond, Fredericksburg &
Potomac R.R. Co., 945 F.2d at 768); see also Williams v. United States, 50 F.3d 299, 304 (4th
Cir. 1995) (“[T]he court may consider the evidence beyond the scope of the pleadings to resolve
factual disputes concerning [subject matter] jurisdiction.”).
B. Failure to State a Claim
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) governs dismissal of a complaint for “failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). “[T]he purpose of Rule
12(b)(6) is to test the sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests surrounding the facts,
the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses.” Presley v. City of Charlottesville, 464
F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006) (citation and quotation marks omitted). “[I]n evaluating a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court accepts all well-pled facts as true and construes these facts in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff in weighing the legal sufficiency of the complaint.”
Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d 250, 255 (4th Cir. 2009). The
court will also “draw[ ] all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor .
. . .” Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th Cir. 1999). But “legal conclusions,
elements of a cause of action, and bare assertions devoid of further factual enhancement fail to
constitute well-pled facts . . . .” Nemet Chevrolet, 591 F.3d at 255. “[A] complaint must contain
‘sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’”
Id. (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)) (quotation marks omitted). “Facial
plausibility is established once the factual content of a complaint ‘allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.’” Id. at 256 (quoting
Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949). “[T]he complaint’s factual allegations must produce an inference of
liability strong enough to nudge the plaintiff's claims ‘across the line from conceivable to
plausible.’” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1952).
C. Supplemental Jurisdiction
Supplemental jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1367, which provides that “in any
civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have
supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within
such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy. . . . Such
supplemental jurisdiction shall include claims that involve the joinder or intervention of
additional parties.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Claims are part of the same case or controversy if they
stem from the same set of facts. See Rosmer v. Pfizer Inc., 263 F.3d 110, 114–15 (4th Cir. 2001)
(“[S]ince the pendent claims of the absent class members raise similar questions of law and fact
to Rosmer’s claim, they are necessarily a ‘part of the same case or controversy.’”). Moreover,
only a “loose factual connection between the claims” is required. Posey v. Calvert Cnty. Bd. of
Educ., 262 F.Supp.2d 598, 600 (D.Md. 2003). Supplemental jurisdiction is discretionary and
district courts are permitted to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim if the
claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court has
original jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(2). The doctrine of supplemental jurisdiction “is a
doctrine of flexibility, designed to allow courts to deal with cases involving pendent claims in the
manner that most sensibly accommodates a range of concerns and values.” Carnegie-Mellon
University v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 (1988). Courts also consider convenience, fairness to the
parties, comity, and judicial economy. Id. at 350, n.7.
Although Coleman “moves to dismiss [Harborview’s] third-party complaint for failure to
state a claim and, in the alternative, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” the sequence of the
arguments is actually backwards. If the Court lacks jurisdiction over the case, there would be no
occasion to consider whether Harborview has or has not stated a cognizable cause of action. But
Coleman is not really saying that a federal court lacks jurisdiction over a declaratory action
where the original plaintiff and original defendant are properly before the Court based on
diversity jurisdiction and those parties seek to bring in third parties by way of third party
complaints or cross-claims. Clearly a federal court has jurisdiction over such a case so long as
the claims against the third parties are appropriately derivative of the claim or claims by the
original plaintiff against the original defendant. The proper jurisdictional inquiry, therefore, is
whether the third-party claims or cross-claims are, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14,
fairly derivative of the original claim or claims.
A. Harborview’s Third-Party Claims Against Coleman Are Proper Under Rule 14
Rule 14(a)(1) states that: “A defending party may, as third-party plaintiff, serve a
summons and complaint on a nonparty who is or may be liable to it for all or part of the claim
against it.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(a)(1). “In assessing third-party claims, the district court is afforded
wide discretion.” Crowley v. BWW Law Grp., LLC, No. CV RDB-15-00607, 2016 WL 4611275,
at *5 (D. Md. Sept. 6, 2016). See also Glens Falls Indem. Co. v. Atl. Bldg. Corp., 199 F.2d 60,
63–64 (4th Cir. 1952). Relevant factors include the introduction of unrelated issues or the undue
complication of the original suit. See L'Occitane, Inc. v. Tran Source Logistics, Inc., No. WMN09-2499, 2010 WL 761201, at *5 (D. Md. Mar. 2, 2010). “Rule 14 is ‘liberally construed’ to
permit impleader in the interest of judicial economy.” Brethren Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sears, Roebuck
& Co., CIV. WDQ–12–0753, 2014 WL 3428931, *5 (D.Md. July 10, 2014). “Impleader [under
Rule 14] will be liberally allowed, if it will prevent duplication of suits based on closely related
matters.” Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v. R.J. Wilson & Associates, Ltd., CIV. CCB–
11–1809, 2012 WL 2945489, *3 (D.Md. July 17, 2012).
Ordinarily, a claim against a third-party under Rule 14 must be “derivative” of the
plaintiff’s original claim. See L'Occitane, Inc. v. Tran Source Logistics, Inc., No. WMN-092499, 2010 WL 761201, at *3 (D. Md. Mar. 2, 2010). Importantly, counter-claims and other
third-party claims cannot be considered. Id. (“It is settled beyond dispute that a third party claim
can be maintained only if the liability it asserts is in some way derivative of the main claim.”);
Crowley v. BWW Law Grp., LLC, No. RDB-15-00607, 2016 WL 4611275, at *5 (D. Md. Sept. 6,
2016). But see Country Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rocky Mountain Const. Co., LLC, 2013 WL 438940, at
*4 (D. Colo. Feb. 5, 2013) (considering not only on the claims in the original complaint, but also
those raised in other pleadings, including defenses and counterclaims). However, in cases in
which the plaintiff’s original claim is a declaratory judgment action, applying Rule 14 can lead to
inconsistent results. This was well stated in State Coll. Area Sch. Dist. v. Royal Bank of Canada,
825 F. Supp. 2d 573, (M.D. Pa. 2011):
In the usual Rule 14 case, a plaintiff brings a cause of action against a defendant
for damages, and the defendant/third-party plaintiff then impleads a third party
that he believes is either partially or wholly liable to him for the potential damage
award. Typically, the third-party plaintiff charges that the third-party defendant
must indemnify the third-party plaintiff should it be ordered to pay damages to the
plaintiff. A more challenging question arises where the action does not fit
comfortably into the classic indemnity model; that is, where the underlying
complaint is not one for monetary damages, but instead seeks a declaratory
judgment against the defendant.
The challenge, as the parties aptly demonstrate, is that the declaratory judgment
action does not necessarily involve a claim in which the original defendant may
be “liable,” in the usual understanding of the word, to the plaintiff. In a
declaratory judgment, action, the decision is simply whether or not certain rights
or duties exist.
Id. at 579.6 The court went on to state, “the modern trend appears to support liberal construction
of Rule 14(a) and permit third-party actions to be filed in declaratory judgment cases where an
See Nat'l Fire Ins. Co. of Hartford v. Nat'l Cable Television Coop., Inc., 2011 WL 1430331, at *1 (D.
Kan. Apr. 14, 2011) (“Some courts have permitted third-party claims to proceed in declaratory judgment
actions, despite a lack of derivative liability, stating, ‘Rule 14(a) [does] not preclude all third-party actions
in which the third-party defendant would not be held liable directly for the judgment of the original
defendant.’ . . . Otherwise, according to these courts, ‘a strict interpretation of Rule 14(a) makes it
impossible for defendants to declaratory judgment actions to maintain a third-party complaint, as the
defendant to a declaratory judgment action will never be found liable to the plaintiff.’ . . . [These] cases
. . . indeed appear to have carved out an exception—a declaratory judgment action exception—to the
adverse ruling on the underlying action may cause the original defendant to suffer a loss for
which the third-party defendant may be liable.” Id. at 581. See also Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v.
ACC Meat Co., LLC, 2011 WL 398087, at *2 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 2, 2011).
Here, if Coleman is not made a party to the action, an adverse ruling in the underlying
action may very well cause Harborview to suffer a loss for which Coleman may in fact be liable.
In Colony Ins. Co. v. Peterson, 2012 WL 1867047 (M.D.N.C. May 22, 2012), report and
recommendation adopted in part, rejected in part, 2012 WL 4369666 (M.D.N.C. Sept. 24,
2012), the court faced a nearly identical procedural situation and permitted a third-party
complaint under a liberal interpretation of Rule 14. Id. at *24. Following a fire, the owners of the
relevant property made claims against their insurance company. Id. at *4. The insurer filed suit
against the owners seeking a judicial declaration either that it had the authority to rescind the
policy or that its obligations were limited in certain respects by the terms of the policy. Id. After
filing a counter-claim and cross-claims, two of the defendants filed a third-party complaint
against the company and the company’s employee who had prepared the insurance application.
Id. The third parties filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 14, which the court rejected
“because they [took] too narrow a view of [Rule] 14.” Id. at *24. Although, unlike the thirdparties in Colony, Coleman did not play a role in the formulation of Harborview’s insurance
application, Coleman was, according to Harborview, still responsible for the pier collapse which
plain language of Rule 14(a).”) (citing Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Concast, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 566, 569 n. 1
(S.D.N.Y.1983) (refusing to “read Rule 14(a) as a blanket prohibition against third-party complaints in
[declaratory judgment] actions”)); McGee v. United States, 62 F.R.D. 205, 208–09 (E.D.Pa.1973);
Hartford Cas. Inc. Co. v. Moore, No. 08–cv–1350, 2010 WL 323502, at *3 (C.D.Ill. Jan. 20, 2010)). See
also O'Bannon v. Friedman's, Inc., 437 F. Supp. 2d 490, 493 (D. Md. 2006) (“Although Plaintiffs in this
case are not insured parties, but rather third-parties seeking declaratory judgments against insurers, the
same principles of efficiency and fairness apply. It would be incongruous to suggest that simultaneous
resolution of the aforementioned issues makes sense in a case where an insured party has impleaded his
insurer, but not in a case where an injured party has sought to join both the insured party and the insurer
the Hartford claims is not covered by the Policy. Thus, if the Hartford succeeds against
Harborview on its declaratory judgment claim (i.e., there is no coverage for the collapse of the
pier under the relevant policy), Harborview may suffer a loss for which Coleman may be liable.
Coleman argues that the Colony Insurance case is inapposite because, unlike those thirdparty defendants, it was not materially involved in the operative facts that gave rise to the main
claim. According to Coleman, the operative facts in the Hartford’s claim against Harborview
relate solely to the terms of the insurance coverage for the pier. Coleman suggests that “the
Hartford is [solely] seeking a declaration that no coverage exists under the Policy for the Claim.”
Coleman’s argument is unpersuasive because its categorization of the Hartford’s claim is
too narrow. In addition to interpretation of the terms of the insurance coverage, the Hartford’s
claim against Harborview relates directly to the cause of the pier collapse.7 Coleman appears to
overlook the Hartford’s first and second causes of action, which seek a declaration that it is not
liable for the pier collapse because the cause of the collapse was not covered by the policy.
Accordingly, the operative facts that give rise to and will eventually resolve the Hartford’s claim
most definitely include the manner in which the pier collapsed and the reasons that it did, which,
according to Harborview, materially involve Coleman. In other words, Harborview’s claims
against Coleman are not merely related to the Hartford’s claim, they are clearly “derivative” of
the outcome of the main claim.
Nor would permitting Harborview’s claim against Coleman introduce previously
unrelated issues, unduly complicate the original suit, unduly prejudice Coleman or lead to delay.
The following allegations are included in the Hartford’s Complaint: “On or about November 22, 2014,
the Pier is claimed to have failed. Harborview has made claim under the Policy related to the Pier failure
for the amount of $5.1 Million. Hartford conducted an investigation of the Claim . . . [and] determined
that the Claim was not covered and issued a denial of coverage for the Claim under the Policy. . . . The
claimed Pier failure was due to the age, wear and tear, gradual deterioration, wasted condition, inherent
vice or defective repair or defective replacement of parts, and was not due to a fortuity or any covered
risk.” Compl. ¶¶ 17-21.
On the contrary, it would promote judicial economy. See Noland Co. v. Graver Tank & Mnfr.
Co., 301 F.2d 43, 49–50 (4th Cir.1962) (“[T]he primary objectives of third-party procedure is to
avoid circuity and multiplicity of actions.”).8 The Court holds that Harborview’s third-party
claims against Coleman are proper under Rule 14.
B. Harborview Has Stated a Negligence Claim
To establish a prima facie case of negligence under Maryland law, a party must prove
“(1) that the defendant was under a duty to protect the plaintiff from injury, (2) that the defendant
breached that duty, (3) that the plaintiff suffered actual injury or loss, and (4) that the loss or
injury proximately resulted from the defendant's breach of the duty.” Valentine v. On Target, 353
Md. 544, 549 (1999) (citations omitted). Harborview has without question stated a facially
plausible negligence claim, which would allow the reasonable inference that Coleman may be
liable to Harborview for damages stemming from the pier collapse.
C. The Court Has Determined To Exercise Supplemental Jurisdiction Over
An impleader claim that forms part of the same case or controversy as the plaintiff’s
original claim is deemed supplemental to the original claim. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). See Owen
Equip. & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 376, (1978). Because the Court has diversity
jurisdiction over the Hartford’s declaratory judgment action against Harborview,9 there is no
need for standalone jurisdiction with respect to Harborview’s derivative claims against Coleman.
As articulated above, Harborview’s claims against Coleman clearly form part of the same case or
controversy as the claims already posited in the case. Harborview’s claims against Coleman, like
The Court acknowledges that permitting Harborview’s claims against Coleman to proceed here are to
some extent at cross-purposes with the parallel litigation in the Baltimore case.
With respect to the original claim, the Court has already ruled that “[b]ecause [the Hartford and
Harborview] are completely diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, diversity jurisdiction
unquestionably exists.” See ECF No. 26 at 5.
those in the Hartford’s declaratory judgment action, in Harborview’s counter-claims, and in
Harborview and the Hartford’s claims against C.A. Lindman, revolve around the collapse of the
pier and any and all reasons that it collapsed. There is no reason to believe that Harborview’s
claims against Coleman will predominate over other issues in the case. In fact, the Court believes
it is wise to litigate all the claims in one case.
Accordingly, the Court will exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Harborview’s claims
For the foregoing reasons, Coleman’s Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and
for Lack of Jurisdiction (ECF No. 53) is DENIED, as set forth in the accompanying Order.
PETER J. MESSITTE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
July 5, 2017
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