Judge Robert Sweet

Expolanka Freight owned the APL Pearl, which carried garments from Bangladesh to New York on Nov. 1, 2011. Under the bill of lading, Expolanka accepted responsibility for the cargo from loading until discharge. Upon arrival, the garments were found damaged. Subrogee Zurich American brought an admiralty claim against Expolanka and attempted service on a worker at Expolanka USA’s New York office. It later served an employee of Ocean Compliance—The Descartes Group—allegedly authorized to accept service for Expolanka. The court denied dismissal of Zurich’s complaint. Discussing Volkart Bros. v. M/V Palm Trader and citing Asahi Metal Indus. v. Superior Court, it found Expolanka subject to long-arm jurisdiction by virtue of its promise, evidenced by the bill of lading, to deliver the cargo to New York. Further, Zurich properly served Expolanka. Ocean Compliance accepted service, for Expolanka, on Aug. 3, 2012. Thus Zurich’s service of process was made within the 120 day limit of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4. Zurich filed proof of service on Aug. 24, and on Oct. 3, posited that this constituted adequate service on Expolanka. Because Expolanka did not dispute this assertion, Zurich proved adequate service on Expolanka.