United States District Court, D. Connecticut
IN THE MATTER OF LUIGI CANGIANO, as Owner of the 1994 23-foot WELLCRAFT ECLIPSE #236, M/V "MARGARITAVILLE" Hull No. WELEGA76L394, REGISTRATION CT4425BD, her tenders, gear, furniture, tackle, appurtenances, etc., Petitioner.
ORDER APPROVING SECURITY, DIRECTING ISSUE OF NOTICE,
RESTRAINING SUITS AND DIRECTING THE FILING OF CLAIMS
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Complaint was filed in this action on February 5, 2019, by
petitioner Luigi Cangiano (also "Petitioner" or
"Owner"), as the owner or pro hac vice
owner of the 1994 23-foot Wellcraft Eclipse #236 express
cruiser powerboat M/V "MARGARITAVILLE", Hull No.
WELEGA76L394, Registration No. CT4425BD (the
"Vessel"). In that Complaint, the Petitioner
asserts entitlement to the protections of exoneration and/or
limitation of liability pursuant to 46 U.S.C. § 30501,
et. seq. and Rule F of the Supplemental Rules for
Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Supplemental
Rules"). In particular, he requests exoneration
from and/or limitation of liability for any claims of damage
or injury arising from the Vessel's voyage from the West
Haven Yacht Club in West Haven, Connecticut, to New Haven
Harbor and back on September 17, 2018. Doc. 1, ¶ 3.
explains that on that date, the three passengers aboard the
Vessel - namely, Diane Mathews, Cindy Vincent, and Donald Foy
- allegedly sustained personal injuries when the Vessel made
contact with a bridge abutment and/or piling (herein
"the Incident"). Id., ¶¶ 4-5.
During the Incident, the Vessel's engine transmission was
either not engaged and/or the Vessel was drifting with the
current and not making way. Id., ¶ 5. According
to the Owner, the Vessel sustained only minor damage.
Riether, Esq., counsel for the three named passengers,
provided a written notice of their claim to the Owner on
October 30, 2018, in which she stated:
Please be advised that this office represents the above named
individuals who are making a claim for severe personal
injuries as a result of a boating accident which occurred on
September 17, 2018 whereby your [ ] boat struck a piling near
the Water Street Bridge, New Haven, Connecticut.
Id., ¶ 6. This notice did not include an amount
for the claim. However, the Owner states that he believes
that the "claimed injuries are not serious."
Id. "Reportedly, Mr. Foy received stiches [sic]
for a hand laceration, Ms. Vincent suffered bumps and
bruising to her head and face, and Ms. Mathews received no
medical treatment following the Incident." Id.
Owner disavows that any losses, damages, or injuries from
said Incident were "caused or contributed to by any
fault, neglect, design or want of due care or due
diligence." Id., ¶ 8. He further states
that he used due diligence to make the Vessel seaworthy for
the September 17, 2018, voyage, "and at all relevant
times the vessel was tight, staunch, strong, fully manned,
properly equipped and supplied, and in all respects seaworthy
and fit." Id., ¶ 7.
and without admitting liability" for damages arising
from the Incident, the Owner now requests the "benefits
of the limitation of liability provided in 46 U.S.C. §
30501, et seq." Id., ¶ 9. He
anticipates that the claims asserted against him will exceed
his interest in the Vessel on the date of the Incident,
which, as set forth below, he has stated via his
counsel's attached "Affidavit of Value" [Doc.
1, Ex. 1] did not exceed Six Thousand One Hundred Fifteen
Dollars ($6, 115). Petitioner has thus requested leave to
file with the Court an Ad Interim Security for Value
in the amount of $6, 115, the asserted value of
Petitioner's interest in said Vessel, plus interest at
the rate of 6% per annum from the present date, plus costs in
the amount of $250, as security for the benefit of
the Petitioner's present motion for exoneration and/or
limitation of liability for any and all losses, damages,
injuries, or destruction occasioned by the Incident, which
occurred on September 17, 2018, the Court hereby ORDERS:
Petitioner is granted leave to file his proposed "Ad
Interim Security for Value" [Doc. 1-2] for the
benefit of claims in the sum of $6, 115, plus interest at the
rate of 6% per annum from the date hereof, plus costs in the
amount of $250, without prejudice to any interested
party's right to seek a modification as provided by
Supplemental Rule F(7). See Fed. R. Civ. P. SUPP.
AMC Rule F(7).
Petitioner and any claimant who may properly become a party
to this action may contest the amount of value of
Petitioner's interest in the Vessel as contained in the
Complaint, together with adequate security, as the Court may
from time to time order.
Petitioner's election to post security in the form of an
Ad Interim Security for Value is done without
prejudice to his right to seek modification of the form and
quantum of the security, including by substitution of an
approved Interim Stipulation for Value.
the amount and form of security is not contested by any
claimant herein, said security will stand and an appraisal by
a Commissioner will not be required.
entry of this Order, the Clerk of the Court shall issue
forthwith the attached "Notice of Petition for
Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability" (herein
"Notice") to all persons asserting claims with
respect to which the Complaint seeks exoneration from or
limitation of liability, admonishing them to file their
respective claims with the Clerk of the Court, in writing,
and to serve a copy of said claims on Petitioner's
attorney on or before M ...