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Alban Waste, LLC v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 1, 2014

ALBAN WASTE, LLC, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., et al., Defendants

For Alban Waste, LLC, John Jacob Alban, Jr., Plaintiffs: Mark D Palmer, LEAD ATTORNEY, Bacon Thornton and Palmer LLP, Greenbelt, MD.

For CSX Transportation, Inc., Defendant: Ava E Lias Booker, Melissa O Martinez, LEAD ATTORNEYS, McGuireWoods LLP, Baltimore, MD; Mitchell K Morris, Samuel L Tarry , Jr, PRO HAC VICE, McGuire Woods, LLP Richmond, VA.

For Steven B. Tucker, Defendant: Melissa O Martinez, LEAD ATTORNEY, McGuireWoods LLP, Baltimore, MD.

For Timothy Koerber, Defendant: Thomas Wilfried Mitchell, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Mitchell Firm PC, Washington, DC.

For Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company As Subrogee of Jason B. and Donna J. Digman, Defendant: Alex M Grant, Law Offices of Andrew Greenspan, Linthicum, MD.

OPINION

Page 619

MEMORANDUM

James K. Bredar, United States District Judge.

I. Background

A collision occurred on May 28, 2013, in Baltimore County, Maryland, between a truck owned by Alban Waste, LLC, and a train owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. (" CSXT" ), and operated by Steven B. Tucker. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 2, 3, 4.) As a result of the collision, multiple train cars derailed, igniting the cargo they were carrying and causing an explosion. ( Id. ¶ 5.) On June 18, 2013, CSXT filed suit in this Court against Alban Waste, LLC, and John Jacob Alban, Jr., the operator of the truck (the " Albans" ), alleging negligence. Civ. No. JKB-13-1770 (D. Md.). After the Albans answered, a scheduling order was entered and the extended discovery deadline in that case is now April 29, 2014. (13-1770, ECF Nos. 13, 63.)

On January 16, 2014, Harford Mutual Insurance Company (" Harford" ) filed in this Court a statutory interpleader action, based on the commercial automobile policy it issued to the Albans, and named as defendants CSXT and 42 individuals and businesses, or their subrogee insurance companies; the complaint also named Harford's insureds, Alban Waste, LLC, and John Jacob Alban, Jr., as " Defendants/Interested Parties." Civ. No. JKB-14-137 (D. Md.) (Compl., ECF No. 1). As of April 1, 2014, seven defendants have filed answers, and an additional three have been served.[1] The complaint notes that the various lawsuits and claims total approximately $10 million in damages, which exceeds the $1 million policy limit for liability. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 44, 45.) Thus, Harford asks to have the defendants litigate among themselves their respective claims to the policy's proceeds and for the Court to direct the proper distribution thereof. ( Id. Prayer ¶ ¶ 1, 3.)[2]

On January 13, 2014, Alban Waste, LLC, and John Jacob Alban, Jr., filed in Maryland state court this suit for declaratory relief against CSXT and Steven B. Tucker, as Defendants, and 42 individuals or insurance companies as so-called Defendants/Interested

Page 620

Parties. Civ. No. JKB-14-406 (Compl., ECF No. 2.) Tucker was served, but as of February 10, 2014, CSXT had not been served; on that date, CSXT and Tucker removed the case to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1.) Several motions are pending in the case. CSXT and Defendant/Interested Party Timothy Koerber have filed motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and Koerber has adopted the reasoning set forth in CSXT's motion. (ECF Nos. 8, 14.) The Albans have filed a motion to consolidate this case with Civil Action Number JKB-13-1770 (D. Md.) and to stay 13-1770. (ECF No. 13.) Finally, the Albans have filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint that seeks to add nine Defendants/Interested Parties. ...


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