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Sompo Japan Ins. Co. of Am. v. Action Express, LLC

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 14, 2014

SOMPO JAPAN INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ACTION EXPRESS, LLC, Defendant

As Amended June 4, 2014.

Page 955

GREGG S. GARFINKEL (156632), STEVE R. SEGURA (156834), NEMECEK & COLE, A Professional Corporation, Sherman Oaks, California, Attorneys for Defendant ACTION EXPRESS, LLC.

Page 956

AMENDED ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Dkt. No. 20]

DEAN D. PREGERSON, United States District Judge.

Before the court is Defendant Action Express, LLC (" Action Express" )'s Motion for Summary Judgement, or in the Alternative, for Partial Summary Judgement. (Dkt. No. 20.) The motion is fully briefed and suitable for decision without oral argument. Having considered the parties' submissions, the court adopts the following order.

I. Background

The instant suit is a subrogation action by an insurer, Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America (" Sompo" ), against a motor carrier, Action Express, arising from a stolen shipment of electronics that Sompo insured.

In January 2008, Kenwood U.S.A. (" Kenwood" ) hired Daylight Transportation (" Daylight" ) to transport electronics from Long Beach, California to Doral, Florida. (Defendant's Statement of Uncontroverted Facts (" SUF" ), Dkt. No. 22, ¶ 1.) Daylight, in turn, contracted with Action Express to complete the transportation of the cargo. (See SUF ¶ 4.) While Action Express was transporting the electronics to Doral, Florida, the tractor trailer containing the cargo was stolen from a truck stop in Wildwood, Florida. (Id. ¶ 5.)

Kenwood claims the cargo that was lost during the theft was valued at $103,094.80. (Id. ¶ 6.) Kenwood filed a claim against Daylight for the loss. (Id. ¶ 7.) Daylight settled with Kenwood by paying Kenwood $30,700. (Id. ¶ 8.) This amount corresponds to the maximum amount recoverable under a limitation of liability provision in the Kenwood-Daylight contract, which limited liability to $25.00 per pound per package subject to a maximum of $100,000 per shipment. (Id. ¶ 3, 8.) Action Express reimbursed to Daylight the $30,700 settlement paid to Kenwood. (Id. ¶ 9.)

Kenwood was insured against the loss of the cargo by Plaintiff Sompo. Pursuant to this insurance policy, Sompo paid Kenwood $82,704.28 to settle the loss claim. (Id. ¶ 10.) This amount apparently corresponds to 110% of the alleged value of the stolen Cargo (Sompo's maximum liability under the insurance policy) less $30,700 (the amount of Kenwood's settlement with Daylight).

In the instant suit, Sompo brings a subrogration action against Action Express under 49 U.S.C. § 14706, the Carmack Amendment, to recover the $82,704.28 it paid Kenwood under the policy, plus prejudgment interest and costs. (See First Amended Complaint at 3.)

Defendant Action Express moves for summary judgment, or in the alternative, partial summary judgment, inter alia on the grounds that (1) Sompo is precluded under the doctrine of superior equities from pursuing a ...


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