Bensch v. Estate of Umar, No. 20-2268 (2d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Second Circuit held that maritime complaints seeking exoneration from or limitation of liability pursuant to the Limitation of Liability Act must contain sufficient factual matter to satisfy the plausibility standard applicable to pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). The court concluded, however, that petitioner's Second Proposed Amended Complaint met that standard, and thus the district court exceeded its discretion in denying the motion for leave to amend.
In this case, petitioner sought exoneration from or limitation of liability pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 30511 et seq. in connection with a fatal boating accident. The district court dismissed the maritime complaint for failure to allege sufficient factual matter to state a plausible claim for exoneration or limitation, and denied his motion for leave to amend. The court affirmed the judgment to the extent that it dismissed the initial complaint and denied petitioner's first motion for leave to amend, but reversed the judgment to the extent it denied the second motion for leave to amend on grounds of futility and bad faith. The court remanded for further proceedings.