Plaintiffs filed this declaratory judgment action in federal district court in Mississippi, seeking relief against their longtime Costa Rican distributor. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction over defendants. The court held that, even if defendants could reasonably anticipate being haled into Mississippi federal court, they could not reasonably anticipate being so haled to answer claims such as these. Seeing no constitutionally adequate nexus between plaintiffs' claims and defendants' Mississippi contacts, the court concluded that plaintiffs have failed to present a prima facie case that a Mississippi district court could exercise specific jurisdiction over defendants. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed. View "ITL Int'l, Inc., et al. v. Constenla, S.A., et al." on Justia Law
SLM appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of IFIC, a surety, against SLM, the principal on a bond pursuant to which IFIC paid Customs import duties assessed against SLM. The court held that the district court had jurisdiction to adjudicate IFIC's claims against SLM; exclusive jurisdiction over these claims did not lie in the Court of International Trade (CIT). The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to dismiss or abate IFIC's action until the proceedings in the CIT have concluded. With regard to the merits of IFIC's claims against SLM, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of IFIC, concluding that SLM was required to pay IFIC the amounts that IFIC had paid to Customs pursuant to its bond obligations. View "Int'l Fidelity Ins. v. Sweet Little Mexico Corp." on Justia Law
QT Trading, L.P. ("QT") sued defendants for rust damage to its steel pipes that allegedly occurred during their transport from Dalian, China to Houston, Texas. At issue was whether the district court properly granted summary judgment to in personam defendants on QT's claims for damages under the Carriage of Goods at Sea Act ("COGSA"), 46 U.S.C. 30701 note (Carriage of Goods by Sea), and for negligent bailment of its goods. The court affirmed summary judgment and held that the district court properly dismissed QT's COGSA claims where QT failed to establish genuine issues of material fact where none of the defendants were "carriers" and thus could not be liable for damages under the statute. The court also held that the district court properly dismissed QT's bailment claims where QT failed to show that a certain defendant had exclusive possession of the cargo.
Posted in: Admiralty & Maritime Law, Contracts, International Trade, Transportation Law, U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals