United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ING BANK N.V., ET AL.
M/V BULK FINLAND, IMO No. 9691577
ORDER AND REASONS
the court is “Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.'s Motion to
Stay” (Rec. Doc. 34), “Memorandum in Opposition
to Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.'s Motion to Stay” (Rec.
Doc. 37), “Drylog Bulkcarriers Limited's Response
to Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.'s Motion to Stay” (Rec.
Doc. 36), “Motion for Summary Judgment to Dismiss
Verified Complaint of Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.” (Rec.
Doc. 29), “Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.'s Response to
Opposition to ING Bank N.V.'s Motion for Summary Judgment
to Dismiss Verified Complaint” (Rec. Doc. 33),
“Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary
Judgment to Dismiss Verified Complaint of Bomin Bunker Oil
Corp.” (Rec. Doc. 45), “Motion for Summary
Judgment to Dismiss Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.'s
Claims” (Rec. Doc. 30) and “Bomin Bunker Oil
Corp.'s Response in Opposition to Drylog Bulkcarriers
Limited's Motion for Summary Judgment to Dismiss Bomin
Bunker Oil Corp.'s Claims” (Rec. Doc. 42), For the
reasons set forth below, IT IS ORDERED that Bomin Bunker Oil
Corp.'s Motion to Stay (Rec. Doc. 34) is GRANTED. IT IS
FURTHER ORDERED that the parties Motions for Summary Judgment
(Rec. Docs. 29 and 30) are DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
FURTHER ORDERED that the above captioned action shall be
administratively closed, for statistical purposes only,
without prejudice to the parties' right to reopen the
case upon motion to lift the stay within thirty (30) days
after the resolution of NuStar Energy Services, Inc. v.
M/V COSCO AUCKLAND (Case No. 17-20246). FAILURE TO
TIMELY FILE SUCH MOTION MAY LEAD TO SANCTIONS, INCLUDING
DISMISSAL. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
instant controversy arises from a vessel seizure. Plaintiff
ING Bank N.V. (“ING”), it its Motion for Summary
Judgment contends Bomin Bunker Oil Corp.'s
(“Bomin”) Verified Complaint should be dismissed
because it cannot satisfy the statutory requirements to have
a valid maritime lien or a breach of contract claim against
the vessel, BULK FINLAND, as a matter of law. ING argues that
Bomin as a matter of law cannot have a maritime lien or a
breach of a contract claim against BULK FINLAND because Bomin
is a subcontractor and not a person authorized by the vessel
owner to render services. Bomin argues that the law on
maritime liens in this context is not yet settled in this
Circuit and that the Motions for Summary Judgment should be
held in abeyance pending the resolution of an appeal
involving similar factual and legal issues in NuStar
Energy Services, Inc. v. M/V COSCO AUCKLAND (Case No.
17-20246) which was filed in early April 2017. Drylog
Bulkcarriers Limited does not oppose the motion to stay the
proceedings (Rec. Doc. 36).
District Court has broad discretion to stay proceedings as
incident to its power to control its own docket.”
Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 684 (1997). However,
a “stay is immoderate and hence unlawful unless so
framed in its inception that its force will be spent within
reasonable limits, so far at least as they are susceptible of
prevision and description.” Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 257 (1936). Furthermore, a
“party requesting a stay must make out a clear case of
hardship or inequity in being required to go forward if there
is even a fair possibility that the stay would harm another
party.” Ates v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., Case
No. 15-3228, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132926, at*7 (E.D. La.
Sept. 30, 2015). In the context of multi-district litigation
decisions the Court generally examines three factors: (1) the
potential prejudice to the non-moving party (2) the hardship
and inequity to the moving party if the action is not stayed;
and (3) the judicial resources that would be conserved by
avoiding duplicative litigation if the case was stayed. Ates,
2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132926 at *8. This Court finds that an
analysis of all three factors weighs in favor of granting a
stay pending the resolution of the appellate court's
ING will have little potential prejudice if the stay is
granted. ING's only foreseeable prejudice is a delay in
the resolution of its lawsuit. However, even if this Court
denies the stay and grants ING's Motion for Summary
Judgment, ING cannot execute any funds in the near future as
Bomin states that it will appeal an adverse decision to the
Fifth Circuit. ING will face a delay in its economic recovery
whether or not the stay is granted.
it would be unreasonable for the parties to expend resources
to join the appellate queue on maritime liens legal questions
when their case can be stayed, without incurring additional
costs, pending the outcome of NuStar Energy Services,
Inc. v. M/V COSCO AUCKLAND. Furthermore, if ING's
motion is denied Bomin and ING will have to spend money and
time undertaking discovery and other pre-trial matters before
eventually trying the case and ending up in the same position
at the Fifth Circuit.
the stay will conserve both the Court's and parties
resources. ING cites a litany of cases in its Motion for
Summary Judgment arguing that subcontractor lacks a maritime
lien as a matter of law in these sort of factual patterns.
However all of these cases are district court decisions that
are pending appeal in the Fifth, Second and Ninth Circuits
(Rec. Docs. 29-1, 29-2 and 29-3). Granting a stay pending the
resolution of one Fifth Circuit case, NuStar Energy
Services, Inc. v. M/V COSCO AUCKLAND (Case No.
17-20246), will conserve the Court's resources and
prevent the parties from engaging in unnecessary appeals or
undertake unnecessary discovery and pretrial actions. This
Court uses its ...