June 26, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. v Dann Ocean Towing, Inc.

American sued Dann seeking unpaid insurance premiums and Dann countersued for breach of contract. The district court ultimately ruled that New York’s statute of limitations barred American’s claim and the contracts limitation provision barred Dann’s claim and entered judgment dismissing all the claims. The panel affirmed. It noted that the default approach in admiralty cases is to apply laches. However, joining with the only other courts to consider the issue, the panel held that parties can adopt statutes of limitation through a choice of law provision and here the New York limitation period applied and barred the claims. Alternatively, it held that if the contract was ambiguous, it would be construed against American and thus the claims would be barred in any event.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s