Attorney obtained a partial summary judgment order that reduced defendant's potential exposure
Attorney obtained a partial summary judgment order that reduced defendant's potential exposure. Defendant was a cargo handling company that was sued by the insurer of an overseas pharmaceutical corporation for alleged damages to an international shipment of pharmaceuticals. The shipment was transported to the U.S. by air, and it was argued in the Motion that the entire transaction was therefore governed by the "Convention for Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage By Air," as amended by Montreal Protocol No. 4 in 1975, and adopted by the United States on March 4, 1999. The Convention provides the exclusive rules for liability applicable to "all international carriage of persons, baggage or cargo performed by aircraft for reward," and serves to limit the liability of air carriers (defined broadly to include cargo handlers such as the client in this case) for damages to cargo to a set sum per kilogram. Plaintiff responded that the Convention's limits of liability are not applicable in cases where the damage resulted from the willful misconduct of the carrier. In turn, it was shown that the Convention's willful misconduct exception has not been applicable in cases involving alleged damages to cargo since adoption of the Protocol Amendments in 1999, and that in any event, the facts simply would not support a finding of willful misconduct against the client.