Dismissed From Litigation in Maritime Case
Obtained a dismissal from litigation on behalf of our client in a maritime/inland marine case. The client, a subcontracted trucking company, was sued by a global fashion house for a lost shipment of product. The pre-litigation claim sought a recovery exceeding $400,000. The client offered to pay the shipper of record the entire amount of the contractual limitation on lost/damaged goods, but the offer was rejected, and the plaintiff initiated suit in federal district court naming the shipper of record and other parties, including our client. In response to our attempt to obtain a swift pre-discovery dismissal of the claims against our client for amounts beyond the contractual limitation, the shipper of record amended its cross claims to include a negligent selection claim in order to avoid being subject to the contractual limitation on damages.
After unsuccessfully petitioning the court to dismiss all claims and cross claims, multiple depositions were conducted. During this time, the defense crafted and executed a strategy that culminated in the testimony of the shipper of record's CEO, who indicated that his company—with over 1,000 employees—not only does not require/perform the allegedly required steps to avoid negligent selection (as indicated in the cross claim by the shipper of record against our client), but that he informed counsel of same (despite counsel's failure to ask). Armed with this testimony, the defense refused to produce any witnesses from the client and withdrew the longstanding offer to pay the contractually mandated amount for lost goods. A court conference was also sought to obtain permission to move for a dismissal and sanctions, whereby the judge granted the client dismissal from litigation.