United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
REC MARINE LOGISTICS, L.L.C.
ORDER & REASONS
E. FALLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss. R. Doc. 15.
Plaintiff opposes. R. Doc. 17. Having considered the
parties' briefs and the applicable law, the Court now
issues this Order & Reasons.
declaratory judgment action arises out of injuries allegedly
sustained by REC Marine Logistics, LLC
(“REC”)'s employee, Andre Denoux. Mr. Denoux
claims that he was injured while working for REC as a captain
and member of the crew of the M/V Alexandra Danos. REC,
however, denies that Mr. Denoux was injured, and seeks a
declaration that it “is relieved of any obligation to
pay (further) maintenance and cure benefits.” R. Doc. 1
at 3. After REC filed this declaratory judgment action, Mr.
Denoux sued REC in the 16th Judicial District Court for the
Parish of St. Mary, asserting claims for negligence,
unseaworthiness, and maintenance and cure.
Denoux moves the Court to dismiss or stay this action pending
resolution of the state-court suit, arguing that (1) the
state-court suit will resolve all issues between the parties,
and (2) REC brought this action in an attempt to deprive Mr.
Denoux of his choice of forum. In opposition, REC argues that
the state-court suit will “likely” be dismissed
for improper venue, and this Court is convenient for all
LAW AND ANALYSIS
courts enjoy broad discretion to decide, dismiss, or stay a
declaratory judgment action. Wilton v. Seven Falls
Co., 515 U.S. 277, 281 (1995). In exercising this
discretion, the court must “address and balance the
purposes of the Declaratory Judgment Act and the factors
relevant to the abstention doctrine.” Travelers
Ins. Co. v. Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, Inc., 996
F.2d 774, 778 (5th Cir. 1993). To that end, the court should
(1) whether there is a pending state action in which all of
the matters in controversy may be fully litigated;
(2) whether the plaintiff filed suit in anticipation of a
lawsuit filed by the defendant;
(3) whether the plaintiff engaged in forum shopping in
bringing the suit;
(4) whether possible inequities in allowing the declaratory
plaintiff to gain precedence in time or to ...