Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

D&B Boat Rentals Inc. v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

March 27, 2019

D&B BOAT RENTALS, INC.
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NATIONAL POLLUTION FUNDS CENTER

         SECTION: “B” (5)

          ORDER AND REASONS

         Before the Court are Defendant United States of America through the National Pollution Funds Center's (“NPFC”) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Failure to State a Claim (Rec. Doc. 16) and Plaintiff D&B Boat Rentals, Inc.'s (“D&B”) Response in Opposition (Rec. Doc. 19). Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the motion to dismiss is DENIED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the NPFC file the administrative record no later than April 29, 2019. Parties shall file cross-motions for summary judgment based on that record no later than May 20, 2019; opposition memorandum shall be filed no later than May 28, 2019; reply memoranda no later than June 3, 2019.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         D&B is a Lafayette, Louisiana company. See Rec. Doc. 16-1 at 4. It owned OSV RICKY B, a steel-hulled offshore supply vessel built in 1981. See id. On May 28, 2013, RICKY B was operating offshore in the Gulf of Mexico when it began to take on water. See id. at 1. The next day, May 29, 2013, the crew was forced to abandon the vessel. See id. The Coast Guard was called and kept apprised of the situation but was not materially involved. See Rec. Doc. 19 at 2. On May 30, 2013, RICKY B sank to the bottom as it was being towed toward land. See Rec. Doc. 16-1 at 1.

         D&B hired several contractors to monitor the wreck, prevent fuel from leaking from the vessel into the ocean, and salvage the vessel. See id. One of the contractors was the American Pollution Control Corporation (“AMPOL”). See Rec. Doc. 19 at 2. AMPOL presented $240, 488.51 in invoices to D&B and its underwriters. See Rec. Doc. 16-1 at 5. D&B and its underwriters paid $164, 629.51, stating that the short-payment was warranted because AMPOL did not perform all that it was hired to perform. See id. AMPOL then, rather than suing D&B directly in state or federal court, submitted its invoices to the NPFC. See Rec. Doc. 19 at 2. D&B submitted a response to the NPFC, stating why AMPOL should not be paid.[1] See id. After review of AMPOL's claim, D&B's response, and other materials, the NPFC approved AMPOL's claim. See Rec. Doc. 16-1 at 5.

         Approximately three year later, the NPFC sent a letter to D&B seeking reimbursement from D&B and its underwriters for the monies paid to AMPOL. See id. D&B contested that letter administratively, outlining why AMPOL should not have been paid and pointing out that the statute of limitations had run on the NPFC's reimbursement claim. See Rec. Doc. 19 at 3. The NPFC sent D&B another letter stating that it “would reassess its determination in light of the concerns [D&B] raised and stating that the agency would perform an administrative review of its debt determination.” Rec. Doc. 16-1 at 6. After that review, the NPFC affirmed its decision. See id. Having exhausted administrative remedies, D&B filed this lawsuit. See Rec. Doc. 19 at 3. D&B asks this Court for a judgment holding that the NPFC is time-barred from proceeding against D&B or its underwriters; the NPFC was arbitrary and capricious in its determination that D&B is responsible for the costs owed to AMPOL; and the NPFC is violating D&B's due process rights. See Rec. Doc. 9 at 5-6. D&B also asks this court for its fee, costs, and any other relief warranted. See id. at 6.

         On March 30, 2018, D&B filed an amended complaint. See id. at 1. On June 15, 2018, the NPFC filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. See Rec. Doc. 16. On July 09, 2018, D&B filed a response in opposition. See Rec. Doc. 19. The NPFC did not seek leave to file a reply.

         The instant issue is whether D&B sufficiently alleged that it is bringing its cause of action against the NPFC under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) to have this Court review the NPFC's determination that AMPOL's claim warranted approval and therefore the sums sought by the NPFC are valid and owing.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. 12(b)(1) STANDARD

         Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a party to move for dismissal of a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. “A 12(b)(1) motion may be appropriate when a plaintiff's claim is barred by sovereign immunity, as well as in the typical situation where a defendant alleges that there is no diversity of citizenship between the parties, jurisdictional amount, and/or the plaintiff's claim does not involve a federal question.” Buck Kreihs Co. v. Ace Fire Underwriters Ins. Co., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12442 *1, *6 (E.D. La. 2004).

         When deciding whether subject matter jurisdiction is lacking, ”a court may evaluate (1) the complaint alone, (2) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record, or (3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the court's resolution of disputed facts.” Id. at *7. All uncontroverted allegations of the complaint must be accepted as true. See id.

         B. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.