United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
MORGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion for Leave to Take Discovery filed by
Plaintiff Kholkar Vishveshwar Ganpat. Defendant Eastern Pacific
Shipping, PTE LTD. (“Eastern Pacific”) opposes
the motion. Plaintiff filed a reply. For the following
reasons, this motion is GRANTED.
Kholkar Ganpat alleges he contracted malaria while working as
a crew member aboard the M/V STARGATE, which Plaintiff
alleges is owned and operated by Eastern
Pacific. Eastern Pacific is an international ship
management company with its principal place of business in
Singapore. On December 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed the
instant suit, bringing claims against Eastern Pacific under
the Jones Act, general maritime law, and contract law.
December 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed into the record proof of
service on Eastern Pacific. The executed summons demonstrates
Plaintiff served Captain Owen Bona aboard the M/V BANDA SEA
on December 15, 2018. On April 25, 2019, Eastern Pacific filed
an amended and restated Motion to Dismiss, moving to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(5) for insufficient service of
process.Alternatively, Eastern Pacific moves to
require proper service on it in Singapore through a letter
rogatory, as authorized by Order 65 of the Supreme Court of
April 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Leave
to Take Discovery, requesting discovery regarding the issue
of whether Captain Bona is a managing agent of Eastern
Pacific authorized to receive service of
process. Plaintiff contends Captain Bona is a
managing agent of Eastern Pacific as contemplated by Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 4(h)(1)(B) and, as a result, service
upon Captain Bona was sufficient service on Eastern
requests to conduct written discovery to determine whether
Captain Bona is a managing agent of Eastern Pacific.
Plaintiff also proposes to take the depositions of Captain
Bona, Mr. Arjun Singh, and a Rule 30(b)(1) or 30(b)(6)
witness of Eastern Pacific.
response to a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(5), the
plaintiff is permitted to introduce evidence, or, in the
alternative, to move to conduct discovery on the validity of
the service. The court may allow the plaintiff to
conduct discovery regarding any issues of fact raised by the
12(b)(5) motion. Further, courts have discretion to
permit discovery to determine whether an individual is a
managing agent of a corporation such that he or she is
qualified to receive service of process on its
IS ORDERED that the Motion for Leave to Take
Discovery is GRANTED. Plaintiff
will be permitted to conduct written discovery relevant to
the issue of whether Captain Bona is a managing agent of
Eastern Pacific. Plaintiffs written discovery requests must
be served no later than June 18, 2019 and
answered no later than July 1, 2019.
Plaintiff also will be permitted to depose a Rule 30(b)(6)
representative of the Defendant with respect to whether
Captain Bona is a managing agent of Eastern Pacific. The Rule
30(b)(6) notice must be served on the Defendant by no later
than June 18, 2019. Any depositions must
take place no later than July 31, 2019.
motions to compel or quash discovery shall be accompanied by
a motion to expedite and set before the undersigned.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss will be ...