Maya Steinitz of the University of Iowa College of Law has recently published The Case For An International Court Of Civil Justice, 67 Stan. L. Rev. Online 75 (2014). The paper proposes creation of an international court to exercise jurisdiction over cross-border torts. I’d like to congratulate Professor Steinitz on her contribution to the debate about ways to solve the perceived lack of access to justice in cross-border tort cases and to recommend her paper to Letters Blogatory readers.
Continue reading Maya Steinitz on “The Case For An International Court of Civil Justice”
The case of the day is Kumkang Valve Manufacturing Co. v. Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Tex. Ct. App. 2014). Enterprise purchased 1,000 high-pressure valuves from Kumkang, a Korean firm, for use in its gas-processing plants in Colorado and Wyoming. The valves failed, and Enterprise paid $11 million to replace them. Enterprise sued Kumkang in 2007 for breach of warranty in the Texas state court. In 2009, while the case was pending, Kumkang sought protection under Korean bankruptcy law, and it then filed a Chapter 15 petition in a bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Texas seeking recognition of the Korean main proceeding. The bankruptcy court recognized the Korean proceeding, which had the effect of staying the Texas litigation.
Enterprise did not appear in the Korean bankruptcy case, and it was not included on the list of creditors in the Korean proceeding, or mentioned in the plan of reorganization the Korean court approved. Kumkang did not inform the US bankruptcy court of the approval of the plan in Korea, and Kumkang’s US lawyer informed the US bankruptcy court that he had been unable to communicate with his client and had no information about the status of the Korean proceedings. The US bankruptcy court, after providing a final opportunity for the US lawyer to obtain information from his client, dismissed the Chapter 15 case and lifted the stay.
In the main case, the parties stipulated that Enterprise had suffered $11 million in damages due to breach of express warranty and breach of the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and Kumkang moved for summary judgment on the affirmative defense of discharge in bankruptcy. Enterprise cross-moved for summary judgment. The trial court gave judgment for Enterprise, and Kumkang appealed.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Kumkang Valve Manufacturing Co. v. Enterprise Products
The case of the day is Midbrook Flowerbulbs Holland BV v. Holland America Bulb Farms, Inc. (W.D. Wash. 2014). Midbrook was a Dutch company that sold flower bulbs to Holland America. When a dispute arose, the parties stopped doing business in May 2000, and Midbrook later claimed that Holland Farms had failed to pay it for the 1999 harvest. Midbrook sued in the Netherlands. Holland America appeared and defended, and it asserted a counterclaim alleging that Midbrook had overcharged it. After a hearing, the Dutch court ordered Holland Farms to pay Midbrook more than $1 million, plus fees and costs. Holland Farms appealed, and the Amsterdam Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment for the most part, though it reduced the damages to approximately $960,000. The Dutch Supreme Court affirmed, and Midbrook sought recognition and enforcement of the judgment of the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in Washington State.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Midbrook Flowerbulbs Holland v. Holland America Bulb Farms