Chem One, Ltd. v. M/V Rickmers Genoa; Atlantic Coast Yacht Sales, Inc. v. ESM Group, Inc.; St. Paul Travelers v. M/V Rickmers Genoa, No. 10-4934 (2d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The interlocutory appeals subject to the motion before the court arose from conjoined multi-party actions stemming from a maritime disaster during which the M/V Rickmers Genoa vessel collided with the M/V Sun Cross vessel in the Yellow Sea. On their motion to dismiss appeals from two interlocutory orders for summary judgment entered in their favor in the district court, or in the alternative, for consolidation of the appeals in the captioned actions involving claims arising out of the maritime casualty, the ESM party defendants contended that the appeals were premature and not authorized by the maritime interlocutory appeal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(3), and that consolidation of the appeals was warranted by reason of equity and economy. The court held that, given that the district court had determined conclusively all of the claims against the ESM parties, and that decision was unaffected by any remaining claims, the court could exercise appellate jurisdiction over the present appeals under section 1292(a)(3). Delaying appeal merely because a "final judgment" as to all of the claims against all of the parties had not been issued would defeat the interlocutory nature of section 1292(a)(3) and effectively render the statute a nullity in the modern era of litigation in which admiralty suits frequently involved multiple parties and claims. Therefore, the motion to dismiss was denied. The court granted, however, the motion brought by ESM insofar as they sought consolidation because the appeals arose from the same conjoined multi-party litigation in the district court, and consolidation would be both efficient and equitable for the disposition of the appeals. Moreover, consolidation was unopposed.