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.

Mainstay Fisheries, Inc. v. Northern Waterfront Associates, L.P.

Superior Court of Rhode Island

November 4, 2016

MAINSTAY FISHERIES, INC. AND RICHARD F. MUDD, SR.
v.
NORTHERN WATERFRONT ASSOCIATES, L.P. and NORTHERN WATERFRONT ASSOCIATES CO., LLC
v.
KANE AND KANE, INC.; EAST PASSAGE REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATES, L.P.; MT. HOPE MARINE CONTRACTORS, INC.; MICHAEL VIERA; SHELTOW I, INC.; JOHN SHELTON; CONTINENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY; AND CAN FINANCIAL CORPORATION

         Newport County Superior Court

          For Plaintiff: John Deacon, Esq.

          For Defendant: Robert J. Quigley, Jr., Esq. Robert E. Collins, Esq. Kenneth R. Tremblay, Esq.

          DECISION

          STONE, J. MAGISTRATE JUSTICE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Mainstay Fisheries, Inc.'s (Plaintiff) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Requests for Jury Instructions on the issue of the duty of care owed to Plaintiff by Defendants Northern Waterfront Associates, L.P. and Northern Waterfront Associates, Co., LLC (jointly, Defendants). In response, Defendants filed a timely objection. This Court heard arguments from the parties on October 3, 2016.[1] Jurisdiction is pursuant to Rule 56 of the Rhode Island Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasoning set forth in further detail below, the Plaintiff's Motion is denied.

         I

         Background

         The following facts are undisputed by the parties. Plaintiff is a Rhode Island corporation which at all times material hereto had a principal place of business in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Plaintiff Richard F. Mudd, Sr. is a resident of Tiverton, Rhode Island and was the sole shareholder and officer of Plaintiff. The F/V KISMET, a 65-foot, single-crew, offshore, wooden lobster boat, was built in 1981 and was owned by Plaintiff. Plaintiff Richard F. Mudd, Sr. was the Captain of the F/V KISMET. Throughout its service, the F/V KISMET was operated as an offshore lobster/gillnet[2] fishing vessel for Plaintiff.

         Defendant Northern Waterfront Associates, L.P. is a Delaware Limited Partnership with a principal place of business in Pennsylvania. Defendant Northern Waterfront Associates, Co., LLC is a Delaware Limited Liability Company and is the general partner of Northern Waterfront Associates, L.P. Defendant Northern Waterfront Associates, L.P. was the owner of the Mount Hope Marine Terminal Dock (the Pier) in Portsmouth, Rhode Island at all relevant times. Defendant/Third-Party Defendant John Shelton (Mr. Shelton) is a resident of Tiverton, Rhode Island and the President of Defendant/Third-Party Defendant Sheltow I, Inc. (Sheltow). Sheltow consisted of a tugboat, the HOPE, and a barge, which were used for tasks like taking fresh water out to vessels. Sheltow was doing business out of the Pier until it could locate a more permanent base of operations.

         Sheltow had purchased a crane and other equipment from Defendant Mt. Hope Marine Contractors. On July 3, 2007, Mr. Shelton was on the Pier working on the crane. On that day, there was a great deal of activity happening on the Pier; there were adolescents in the area preparing a bonfire, [3] there were individuals walking on the beach, including Sarah Edelstein (Ms. Edelstein), and there were laborers working, including Mr. Shelton and Mike Kelly (Mr. Kelly). According to Mr. Shelton, both he and Mr. Kelly worked on the Pier until approximately 4:00 pm. At that time, Mr. Shelton left for a meeting in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

         Sometime later that evening, the Pier caught fire. Mr. Viera and Ms. Edelstein-two eyewitnesses-were talking when Mr. Viera observed smoke on the Pier, in the vicinity of the pump and crane. Ms. Edelstein proceeded to take pictures, fully documenting the fire from its onset. At some point, the F/V KISMET, which was docked on the Pier, caught fire and drifted out into the waters surrounding the Pier. The F/V KISMET became a total loss from the damages sustained in the fire. As a result, on July 24, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint alleging negligence on the part of various defendants in Newport County Superior Court.

         II

         Standard of Review

         As a threshold matter, this Court will address whether maritime or state law is applicable to Plaintiffs motion. We previously held that maritime law would govern all substantive issues relating to Plaintiffs claims, while procedural matters would be decided according to the law of Rhode Island. See Mainstay Fisheries, Inc. v. N. Waterfront Assocs., LP., 2016 WL 878739 (R.I. Super. Mar. 2, 2016). "Rule 56 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure constitutes a procedural device that, in the proper circumstances, plays an appropriate role in separating the wheat from the chaff in the litigation process." Young v. Warwick Rollermagic Skating Ctr., Inc., 973 A.2d 553, 557 (R.I. 2009); see also Sharkey v. Prescott, 19 A.3d 62, 66 (R.I. 2011) (explaining the procedural rule's utility in identifying issues appropriate for trial); Rotelli v. Catanzaro, 686 A.2d 91 (R.I. 1996) (clarifying that the purpose of the summary judgment procedure was to identify issues for trial, not to resolve the issues); Benner v. J.H. Lynch & Sons, Inc., 641 A.2d 332, 334-35 (R.I. 1994) ...


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.