December 2, 2013
IN THE MATTER OF: Havasu Adventure Company, LLC, As Bareboat Charterer and Owner Pro Hac Vice of the Vessel, Premier Pontoon; and Walk in the Light, LLLC, as Registered Owner of the Vessel Premier Pontoon, Model
PAUL G. ROSENBLATT, District Judge.
Before the Court is Havasu Adventure Company, LLC's ("Havasu Adventure") and Walk In The Light, LLC's ("Walk In The Light") (collectively "Petitioners") Amended Complaint for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability ("Amended Complaint"), brought pursuant to the Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30501 et seq. The Limitation of Liability Act limits the liability of a shipowner for any loss incurred without the knowledge or privity of the owner, to the value of the vessel and its freight. See 46 U.S.C. § 30511. An "owner" includes a charterer that mans, supplies and navigates a vessel at the charterer's own expense or by the charterer's own procurement. See 46 U.S.C. § 30501. Pursuant to the statute, upon the Petitioners' filing of the Amended Complaint and its tender of a bond, the Court must enjoin all other proceedings against the Petitioners involving issues arising out of the subject matter of the Amended Complaint.
"Under the Limitation of Liability Act and the Supplemental Rules, a federal district court stays all related claims against a shipowner pending in any forum, and requires all claimants to assert their claims in the limitation court. This accords with the federal courts' exclusive jurisdiction of suits brought in maritime." In the Matter of the Complaint of Santa Fe Cruz, Inc., 535 F.Supp.2d 853, 857-58 (S.D. Tex. 2007) (internal citations omitted).
Accordingly, Petitioners, having filed the Amended Complaint, and Walk In The Light being registered owner, and Havasu Adventure being bareboat charterer and owner pro hac vice of the vessel Premier Pontoon; Sun Country Edition; Year 2000; Hull ID # PMY18580H900; BOW ASSIGN # AZ1641BP ("Vessel"), and said Vessel being the subject of the Amended Complaint herein, and having advised the Court of the said Vessel's post-incident value based upon the pleadings filed herein, and it appearing from the value filed with the said Amended Complaint and the attachments thereto that the value of the said vessel and its freight is $8, 675.00, based upon said Amended Complaint,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Letter of Undertaking from Markel American Insurance Company to this Court of the sum of $8, 675.00, declared by the Petitioners to be the value of the said Vessel and its freight, is hereby accepted by this Court as the security for the amount or value of the said Vessel.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any party or claimant, including the Rodericks, may apply to have the amount of the said value increased or decreased as the case may be, upon the filing of a properly noticed motion in this Court, consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of this Court.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order shall serve as a Monition and Injunction of this Court against all persons or corporations claiming damage for any and all loss, destruction, damage, injuries, and/or death caused by or resulting from the casualty set forth in the Amended Complaint, citing them to file their respective claims with the Clerk of this Court and to serve on or mail to the attorneys for Petitioners copies thereof on or before January 31, 2014, and that all persons or corporations so presenting claims and desiring to contest the allegations of the Amended Complaint shall file an Answer to the Amended Complaint in this Court, and shall serve on or mail to the attorneys for the Petitioners copies thereof.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioners shall make a public notice of said Monition to be given by publication for four successive weeks, before the return day of said Monition and that a copy of said notice be mailed by the Petitioners to every person or corporation known to have a claim against the Petitioners arising out of the incident set forth in the Amended Complaint, including the Rodericks through their counsel.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order be served by Petitioners on Noreen and Scott Roderick, averred by Petitioners to be involved in the accident giving rise to this action, on or before December 30, 2013.