Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:This suit arises from the sinking of two barges in the Mississippi River and the loss of 158 slabs of steel aboard those barges. The primary issues in this appeal relate to arguments between two co-insurers of the lost steel cargo over the amount of the loss each should bear. Defendant insurer Unione Mediterranea di Sicurta (UMS) also challenges personal jurisdiction and venue. Issues are also presented challenging the propriety of the district court’s order permitting the insurers to recover in their subrogation action against A.K. Steel Corp. (AK Steel) for converting the salvaged steel. HOLDING:Affirmed in part; vacated in part; remanded. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2) provides for service of process and personal jurisdiction in any district court for cases arising under federal law where the defendant has contacts with the United States as a whole sufficient to satisfy due process concerns and the defendant is not subject to jurisdiction in any particular state: “If the exercise of jurisdiction is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, serving a summons or filing a waiver of service is also effective, with respect to claims arising under federal law, to establish personal jurisdiction over the person of any defendant who is not subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of general jurisdiction of any state.” The rule was enacted to fill an important gap in the jurisdiction of federal courts in cases arising under federal law: “while a defendant may have sufficient contacts with the United States as a whole to satisfy due process concerns, if she had insufficient contacts with any single state, she would not be amenable to service by a federal court sitting in that state. . . . Rule 4(k)(2) was adopted in response to this problem of a gap in the courts’ jurisdiction . . .” World Tanker Carriers Corp. v. MV Ya Mawlaya, 99 F.3d 717 (5th Cir. 1996). Before examining UMS contacts with the United States as a whole, the court considers the requirement of the last sentence of Rule 4(k)(2) that it only applies if the defendant is not subject to jurisdiction in any state. The court agrees with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a piecemeal analysis of the existence vel non of jurisdiction in all 50 states is not necessary. Rather, so long as a defendant does not concede to jurisdiction in another state, a court may use Rule 4(k)(2) to confer jurisdiction. In this case UMS contested the transfer of this case to New York where plaintiff believed jurisdiction existed, arguing that there was no personal jurisdiction in New York. Furthermore UMS has generally challenged the existence of minimum contacts with the United States as a whole. Because UMS has not offered other venues in this country where personal jurisdiction would attach and argues that it cannot be sued in the United States, the last sentence of Rule 4(k)(2) does not preclude application of this rule. Given the volume of activity, the court has no difficulty concluding that UMS has continuous and systematic contacts with the United States as a whole. Further, subjecting UMS to suit here does not offend notions of fair play and substantial justice. Defendant AK Steel argues that UMS would never be entitled to recover its share of the profits from the salvaged steel because AK Steel was an additional insured of UMS. According to AK Steel it is entitled to a credit for UMS’s share of the approximately $191,000 and should, at most, be required to pay Adams its 20 percent share. The court disagrees. OPINION:Davis, J.; Davis, Wiener and Stewart, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.