Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Joseph Duczkowski and Penelope Duczkowski v. Hyundai America Shipping Agency

December 20, 2010

JOSEPH DUCZKOWSKI AND PENELOPE DUCZKOWSKI, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
HYUNDAI AMERICA SHIPPING AGENCY, INC. AND DARIA SHIPPING LIMITED, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the Court is the motion of defendant Hyundai America Shipping Agency, Inc. for summary judgment on plaintiffs' claims arising from a injuries plaintiff Joseph Duczkowski sustained while working as a longshoreman discharging cargo off the vessel M/V DARIA.*fn1 For the reasons expressed below, defendant's motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

On May 22, 2005, plaintiff Joseph Duczkowski was performing his duties as a crane operator discharging cargo--plywood and steel plates--off the vessel M/V DARIA berthed at Beckett Street Terminal in Camden, New Jersey, when he slipped on oil as he descended the crane's access ladder. At the time, the vessel was owned and operated by defendant Daria Shipping Limited, and it was under a time charter to defendant Hyundai America Shipping Agency, Inc.*fn2

Plaintiff filed suit against both defendants claiming that they are liable for his injuries due to their negligence.*fn3 With regard to his claims against Hyundai, plaintiffs claim that Hyundai exerted control over the vessel's maintenance, and specifically with regard to the crane, and it therefore can be held responsible for plaintiffs' injuries.

Hyundai has moved for summary judgment, arguing that the vessel owner and the crew retained responsibility for the vessel's maintenance and repair through a Time Charter agreement, and it did not otherwise assume control over its maintenance and repair. Because it was not responsible for the maintenance and repair of the vessel and its cranes, Hyundai contends that it cannot be liable for plaintiffs' injuries as a matter of law. Plaintiffs have opposed Hyundai's motion.

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Plaintiffs' complaint, originally filed in New Jersey state court, states claims for negligence. Hyundai removed plaintiffs' case to this Court, contending that this Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Although plaintiff is a covered worker under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. § 901 et seq. ("LHWCA"), jurisdiction has not been advanced on this basis, although it appears to also confer federal question jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims.*fn4

B. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

An issue is "genuine" if it is supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is "material" if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, a district court may not make credibility determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the non-moving party's evidence "is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Marino v. Industrial Crating Co., 358 F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004)(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).

Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57. A party opposing summary ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.