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.

CAMPAGNIE DES BAUXITIES DE GUINEE v. L'UNION ATLAN

February 9, 1983

COMPAGNIE DES BAUXITES DE GUINEE, a corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
L'UNION ATLANTIQUE S.A. D'ASSURANCES; VESTA (UK) INSURANCE COMPANY; and CHIYODA FIRE & MARINE INSURANCE CO., LTD., TOKYO, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIMMONS

Plaintiff Compagnie Des Bauxites de Guinee ("CBG") previously filed, in December, 1975, an action in this Court at Civil Action Number 75-1567 (W.D. Pa. 1975), against the Insurance Company of North America, the three excess insurers named as defendants here, and numerous other excess insurers, under the business interruption provisions of an all risk policy of insurance to recover business interruption losses allegedly sustained as the result of the structural failure and collapse of a tippler building and crusherhouse.

 In the suit filed at Civil Action Number 75-1567, the excess insurers raised as a defense the lack of in personam jurisdiction.

 From 1976 through 1979, Plaintiff CBG attempted to procure through discovery at Civil Action No. 75-1567, information which would support its claim of in personam jurisdiction. After Defendants refused to produce information the Court ordered to be produced, after lengthy delay, and after several warnings, the Court, on August 5, 1980, imposed sanctions under Rule 37(b), Fed. R. Civ. P., finding as a sanction that for the purposes of that litigation (Civil Action No. 75-1567) the excess insurers were subject to the in personam jurisdiction of the Court because of their business contacts with Pennsylvania. The imposition of sanctions on August 5, 1980 by this Court was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, see Compagnie Des Bauxites de Guinea v. Insurance Co. of North America, et al., 651 F.2d 877 (3d Cir. 1981), which reversed this Court's determination that it had personal jurisdiction over Chiyoda Fire & Marine, Vesta, and L'Union, the named defendants in the above-captioned case, and affirmed this Court's finding of jurisdiction with respect to the remaining excess insurers. With respect to the three excess insurers herein involved, the Third Circuit stated:

 
Three of the excess insurers, Chiyoda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., Vesta (UK) Ltd., and L'Union Atlantique S.A. D'Assurances, Brussels, complied with the discovery order by filing affidavits stating that they had issued no policies covering risks located in Pennsylvania or associated with either CBG or the Pittsburgh office of Marsh & McClennan. App. at 236a, 493a, 323a. The sanction imposed by the district court because of the other insurers' failure to produce the requested documents should not apply to these three companies. In addition, their contacts with Pennsylvania are simply inadequate to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction pursuant to the Pennsylvania long-arm statute. The record discloses no evidence that these companies deliberately availed themselves of the privilege of doing business within the state, or indeed that they had any contacts that would justify a reasonable expectation of being haled into Court there. See World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297, 100 S. Ct. 559, 567, 62 L. Ed. 2d 490 (1980).
 
We therefore will reverse the district court's determination that it had personal jurisdiction over Chiyoda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., Vesta (UK) Ltd., and L'Union Atlantique S.A. D'Assurances, Brussels and direct dismissal of the complaint with respect to them.

 651 F.2d at 886.

 This holding of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with respect to these three excess insurers was not disturbed by the United States Supreme Court which affirmed the Court of Appeals upon their consideration of the case. See Insurance Corp. of Ireland, Ltd., et al. v. Compagnie Des Bauxites De Guinea, 456 U.S. 694, 102 S. Ct. 2099, 72 L. Ed. 2d 492 (1982).

 On August 18, 1982, Plaintiff CBG refiled the new action against Vesta, Chiyoda and L'Union Atlantique at the above-captioned Civil Action Number 82-1707, alleging the same factual background and identical claims previously alleged at Civil Action Number 75-1567.

 Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss and Amended Motions to Dismiss in this above-captioned case, contending that this Court does not have jurisdiction over the named Defendants, that the suit was not timely commenced in accordance with the contract of insurance, and the loss, if any, sustained by CBG did not result from the happening of a fortuitous event. For the reasons set forth hereinbelow, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss will be granted.

 The decision of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ultimately affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, that these three named defendants had insufficient contacts with Pennsylvania to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction was based on affidavits filed by the excess insurers. 651 F.2d at 886. Plaintiff CBG does not have available any additional evidence which in any way contradicts the affidavits previously filed. The jurisdictional arguments having been litigated previously in Civil Action Number 75-1567, they may not be relitigated again here. Res judicata does not permit further inquiry into the question of jurisdiction for the period of time prior to the filing of this very suit which was filed at Civil Action Number 82-1707. Plaintiff CBG contends that under Pennsylvania law it is entitled to institute this new suit within one year of the dismissal of the previous action. The relevant statute cited in support of this proposition is a savings statute, contained in 42 Pa. C.S.A. Section 5535, which reads as follows:

 
(a) Termination of prior matter. --
 
(1) If a civil action or proceeding is timely commenced and is terminated, a party, or his successor in interest, may, notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, commence a new action or proceeding upon the same cause of action within one year after the termination and any other party may interpose any ...

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.