ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Rose Baldwin ("Rose"), Michael Baldwin, Shandle T.B. Hankins, and Aaron P. Hankins' ("Defendants" or "Claimants") motion to dismiss Plaintiffs Hyatt Corporation dba Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Maui Boat Co.'s ("Plaintiffs") limitation action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). Plaintiffs oppose the motion.*fn1 Plaintiffs have also filed objections to the Declaration of Marylou Robken, submitted by Claimants with their reply to Plaintiffs' opposition to Claimants' motion to dismiss. (Docs # 52, 54). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' objections are SUSTAINED and Claimants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On January 20, 2009, Claimants filed an action for damages against Plaintiffs arising out of an incident which occurred on February 13, 2006. Baldwin v. Hyatt Corp., 2:09-cv-00161 (E.D. Cal). Plaintiffs filed this action on May 4, 2009, seeking to limit their liability under 46 U.S.C. § 30511. Claimants move to dismiss this limitation action, arguing it was not timely filed.
On February 13, 2006, while vacationing in Hawaii, Claimants took a snorkeling trip on the M/S Kiele V, a catamaran owned and operated by Plaintiffs. Claimant Rose allegedly fell while disembarking from the catamaran when she was instructed by Plaintiffs' employees to exit from the boat by ladder into the water at the conclusion of the snorkeling outing. Rose "was forced under water and was battered back and forth against the metallic ladder." (Doc # 41 at 2).
The parties corresponded about the incident, and the series of letters and documents exchanged were included with the parties' motions for the Court's consideration (Docs # 42, 50) and are summarized below.
A letter was sent on behalf of Plaintiffs to Claimant Rose's Attorney on February 28, 2006, ("February 28 Letter") requesting: a signed medical records release form; the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all doctors and medical care providers and facilities that treated Rose Baldwin for her injuries; copies of medical records and bills relating to the treatment of Rose Baldwin's injuries; a description of the type of injury sustained by Rose Baldwin; information to document Rose Baldwin's wage loss claim, if any; documentation for any out-of-pocket expenses; any other documentation that would "be of assistance to [Plaintiffs] in the evaluation of your claim;" and any available dates and times to obtain Rose Baldwin's statement.
On March 6, 2006, then counsel for Claimant Rose, William Bernheim, replied by declining to grant access to medical records ("March 6 Letter"), stating that Rose "is continuing to experience numbness in her arm,  is under continuing Kaiser Medical care[, and] has suffered a quite serious injury involving nerve damage." Mr. Bernheim also requested information about the ambulance service which transported Rose to the hospital post-injury and the ship's captain, crew, and guests on February 13, 2006.
Claimants' new counsel, William Lyons, sent a letter on March 16, 2006, ("March 16 Letter") to Plaintiffs, detailing his representation of Claimants. He stated that "Mrs. Baldwin sustained very serious injuries . . . and it is probable that she will have surgery as a result of serious injuries to her cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine," Mr. Baldwin would be asserting claims for loss of consortium and emotional distress, and their 5 children would be asserting claims for severe emotional distress.
Two letters on behalf of Plaintiffs were sent, affirming receipt of Claimants' letters and re-requesting the information sought on February 28, 2006. One letter was sent in response by the Claimants, ...