Ganpat v. Eastern Pacific Shipping PTE. Ltd., No. 2:2018cv13556 - Document 81 (E.D. La. 2019)

Court Description: ORDER AND REASONS - The 70 Motion for Leave to Take Discovery is GRANTED. Parties to comply as stated herein. FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's 69 Motion to Dismiss will be submitted on 9/4/2019. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan on 6/4/2019.(sbs)
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Ganpat v. Eastern Pacific Shipping PTE. Ltd. Doc. 81 U N ITED S TATES D ISTRICT COU RT EASTERN D ISTRICT OF LOU ISIAN A KH OLKAR VISH VESH W AR GAN PAT, Plain tiff CIVIL D OCKET VERSU S N O. 18 -13 556 EASTERN PACIFIC SH IPPIN G, PTE. LTD , D e fe n d an t SECTION : “E” ( 4 ) ORD ER AN D REAS ON S Before the Court is a Motion for Leave to Take Discovery filed by Plaintiff Kholkar Vishveshwar Ganpat. 1 Defendant Eastern Pacific Shipping, PTE LTD. (“Eastern Pacific”) opposes the m otion. 2 Plaintiff filed a reply. 3 For the following reasons, this m otion is GRAN TED . BACKGROU N D Plaintiff Kholkar Ganpat alleges he contracted m alaria while working as a crew m em ber aboard the M/ V STARGATE, which Plaintiff alleges is owned and operated by Eastern Pacific. 4 Eastern Pacific is an international ship m anagem en t com pany with its principal place of busin ess in Singapore. 5 On Decem ber 12, 20 18, Plaintiff filed the instant suit, bringing claim s against Eastern Pacific under the J ones Act, general m aritim e law, and contract law. On Decem ber 17, 20 18 , Plaintiff filed into the record proof of service on Eastern Pacific. 6 The executed sum m ons dem onstrates Plaintiff served Captain Owen Bona 1 R. Doc. 70 . R. Doc. 75. 3 R. Doc. 80 . 4 R. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 6, 32. 5 Id. at ¶ 2. 6 R. Doc. 8. 2 1 Dockets.Justia.com aboard the M/ V BANDA SEA on Decem ber 15, 20 18. 7 On April 25, 20 19, Eastern Pacific filed an am ended and restated Motion to Dism iss, m oving to dism iss Plaintiff’s claim s pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5) for insufficient service of process. 8 Alternatively, Eastern Pacific m oves to require proper service on it in Singapore through a letter rogatory, as authorized by Order 65 of the Suprem e Court of Singapore. 9 On April 30 , 20 19, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Leave to Take Discovery, requesting discovery regarding the issue of whether Captain Bona is a m anaging agent of Eastern Pacific authorized to receive service of process. 10 Plaintiff contends Captain Bona is a m anaging agent of Eastern Pacific as contem plated by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(h)(1)(B) and, as a result, service upon Captain Bona was sufficient service on Eastern Pacific. 11 LAW AN D AN ALYSIS Plaintiff requests to conduct written discovery to determ in e whether Captain Bona is a m an aging 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. 12 In response to a m otion to dism iss under Rule 12(b)(5), the plaintiff is perm itted to introduce evidence, or, in the alternative, to m ove to conduct discovery on the validity of the service. 13 The court m ay allow the plaintiff to conduct discovery regarding any 7 Id. R. Doc. 69. Eastern Pacific waived the defense of lack of personal jurisdiction because it did not include the defense in its restated Motion to Dism iss. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(1). 9 Id. 10 R. Doc. 70 . 11 R. Doc. 23. 12 R. Doc. 70 -1. 13 5B CHARLES ALAN W RIGHT, ET AL., F EDERAL P RACTICE & P ROCEDURE § 1353 (3d. ed.); see also Anderson v . British Overseas Airw ay s Corp., 149 F. Supp. 68, 70 -71 (S.D.N.Y. 1956); Kaffenberger v. Krem er, 4 F.R.D. 478, 479 (E.D. Pa. 1945); Urquhart v. Am .-La France Foam ite Corp., 144 F.2d 542 (1944). 8 2 issues of fact raised by the 12(b)(5) m otion. 14 Further, courts have discretion to perm it discovery to determ ine whether an individual is a m anaging agent of a corporation such that he or she is qualified to receive service of process on its behalf. 15 Accordingly; IT IS ORD ERED that the Motion for Leave to Take Discovery 16 is GRAN TED . Plaintiff will be perm itted to conduct written discovery relevant to the issue of whether Captain Bona is a m anaging agent of Eastern Pacific. Plaintiff’s written discovery requests m ust be served no later than Ju n e 18 , 2 0 19 and answered no later than Ju ly 1, 2 0 19 . Plaintiff also will be perm itted to depose a Rule 30 (b)(6) representative of the Defendant with respect to whether Captain Bona is a m anaging agent of Eastern Pacific. The Rule 30 (b)(6) notice m ust be served on the Defen dant by no later than Ju n e 18 , 2 0 19 . Any depositions m ust take place no later than Ju ly 3 1, 2 0 19 . Any m otions to com pel or quash discovery shall be accom panied by a m otion to expedite and set before the undersigned. IT IS FU RTH ER ORD ERED that Defendant’s Motion to Dism iss will be subm itted on Se p te m be r 4 , 2 0 19 . N e w Orle a n s , Lo u is ian a, th is 4 th d ay o f Ju n e , 2 0 19 . ______________________ _________ SU SIE MORGAN U N ITED S TATES D ISTRICT J U D GE 14 27A TRACY BATEMAN , ET. AL., F EDERAL P ROCEDURE , LAWYERS EDITION § 62:449 (20 19); see also Collins v. N .Y. Cent. Sy s., 327 F.2d 8 80 (D.C. Cir. 1963). 15 See, e.g., Anderson , 149 F. Supp. at 70 -71; Kaffenberger, 4 F.R.D. at 479; Urquhart, 144 F.2d 542. 16 R. Doc. 70 . 3