Gunvor SA v. Kayablian, No. 18-2366 (4th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Gunvor, a Swiss corporate business entity, filed suit against United States citizen defendants and Amira Group in the Eastern District of Virginia. Gunvor invoked that court's alienage diversity jurisdiction and asserted various state law claims.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7) because Gunvor failed to join Nemsss Petroleum, a British Virgin Islands corporation, which defendants asserted was necessary and indispensable to the action. The court held that Gunvor's own complaint places Nemsss at the heart of this case, and the district court’s factual findings follow inexorably from that account. Therefore, taking Gunvor at its word in its complaint, the court found no error in the district court's factual findings. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in deeming Nemsss a necessary party under Rule 19(a), and that Nemsss's absence would surely prejudice Nemsss. Therefore, Nemsss was an indispensable party and the district court did not err in dismissing the complaint.