News

Case Summaries

Admiralty

[02/06] Mediterranean Shipping Co. v. Best Tire Recycling, Inc.
In a dispute arising out of a contract for the shipment of used tires from Puerto Rico to Vietnam, which accrued demurrage charges, port storage charges, and related administrative fees, apparently because it arrived late to Vietnam, the district court finding that defendant was the shipper, and therefore, pursuant to the bills of lading, was liable for the charges and fees to the carrier, is affirmed where was designated as the shipper on the bills of lading.

[12/23] Block Island Fishing, Inc. v. Rogers
In an admiralty action arising from plaintiff-employer's suit against defendant, an injured fisherman employed on one of its boats, to dispute the duration and amount of 'maintenance and cure' payments to which defendant is entitled under admiralty law, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed as to plaintiff's ability of offset overpayment against any damages that defendant may win at trial; and 2) reversed as to the district court's determination of a date on which plaintiff's obligations terminated because insufficient notice and opportunity to contest otherwise was given to defendant.

[11/22] Nevor v. Moneypenny Holdings, LLC
In a maritime personal injury case, the district court's award to plaintiff of compensatory damages for past and future harms, plus prejudgment interest, is: 1) affirmed as to the damages award; but 2) affirmed in part and reversed in part as to the award of interest where, in a question of first impression within this circuit, the district court was bound to follow Borges v. Our Lady of the Sea Corp., and its failure to do so constitutes reversible error.

[10/18] Hargus v. Ferocious and Impetuous, LLC
In a negligence action against the owner and captain of a chartered vessel, for injuries plaintiff sustained while aboard the boat, the District Court's judgment in plaintiff's favor is vacated where the tortious act giving rise to plaintiff's claim was insufficient to invoke maritime jurisdiction because the act was not of the type that could potentially disrupt maritime commerce.

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Bankruptcy Law

[05/22] Demetrius v. Transport Workers Union of Am.
In two consolidated actions brought under the Railway Labor Act, alleging a union's breach of the duty of fair representation in the decision to distribute the proceeds of a bankruptcy settlement to all of its members unevenly, the district court's dismissal of the actions is affirmed where there was no breach of duty because the union's conduct was not arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.

[05/15] Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson
In an action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. sections 1692e and 1692f, arising out of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in which a creditor filed a claim asserting that debtor owed a credit-card debt and noting that the last time any charge appeared on debtor's account was more than 10 years ago, which exceeded the 6-year statute of limitations, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that the FDPA applied to the case is reversed where the filing of a proof of claim that is obviously time barred is not a false, deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unconscionable debt collection practice within the meaning of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

[05/08] In re: Giacchi
In an appeal involving the issue of whether Internal Revenue Service Forms 1040, filed after the IRS has made an assessment of the taxpayer's liability, constitute 'returns' for purposes of determining the dischargeability in bankruptcy of tax debts under 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(1)(B), the district court's judgment affirming the bankruptcy court's order denying discharge of years covered by the 1040s is affirmed where: 1) debtor's belated filings after assessment are not an honest and reasonable effort to comply with the tax law under the Beard test and, as such, the filings do not constitute returns; and 2) because debtor's tax debts for tax years 2000, 2001, and 2002 are debts for tax obligations for which no return was filed, the debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(1)(B).

[05/04] In re: Lehman Bros.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy appeal by thousands of former employees of debtor who held restricted stock units that were rendered worthless after the filing, the district court's judgment sustaining debtor's objections to the claims, on grounds that the claims must be subordinated to the claims of general creditors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 510(b) because the former arise from the purchase or sale of securities, is affirmed where the claims at issue must be subordinated pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 510(b) because, within the meaning of that statute: 1) restricted stock units are securities; 2) the claimants acquired them in a purchase; and 3) the claims for damages arise from that purchase or the asserted rescission thereof.

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