National Liability & Fire Ins. Co. v. R & R Marine, Inc., et al., No. 10-20767 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
This case arose out of the sinking of a vessel owned by Hornbeck while at R&R's shipyard for repairs. R&R's liability insurer, National, filed suit to disclaim liability under its policy. Hornbeck counterclaimed. The district court found that R&R was negligent and that National was liable for the ensuing damages. The court concluded that the district court did not clearly err in finding that R&R was negligent under bailment law where the vessel was delivered to R&R afloat, R&R had full custody of the vessel, and the vessel sank while under R&R's care; even if the salvage company had been negligent, R&R would remain fully liable because this negligence was a foreseeable consequence of R&R's own negligence; under Rule 13(a), Hornbeck had standing to bring its counterclaim and the district court properly ruled on that claim after deciding R&R's liability; and the district court erred in the amount of damages it awarded and in applying an 18% interest rate. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for the entry of judgment and the appropriate assessment of interest on that judgment.