Case of the Day: Allianz Sigorta v. Ameritech

The case of the day is Allianz Sigorta, A.S. v. Ameritech Industries, Inc. (E.D. Cal. 2016). Allianz was a Turkish insurance company. Ameritech, through a subsidiary, was in the business of servicing aircraft engines. Ameritech serviced the engine on a plane that was sold to Korfez Hartalcilik Planlama Ltd. STI, which was Allianz’s insured. The engine failed when the plain was being flown from the United States to Turkey, and the pilot ditched the plane off the east coast of Canada. Allianz (as Korfez’s subrogee) sued, claiming that the engine failed because of Ameritech’s bad service and that Allianz had negligently misrepresented that the plane was airworthy. The damaged plane and engine were in the possession of Air Labrador at facility in Goose Bay, Newfoundland. Korfez refused, for reasons that are a little obscure to me, had refused to give permission to Air Labrador for Allianz to conduct an inspection of the engine. Allianz therefore requested issuance of a letter rogatory.

There were two points of interest. First, the Canada Evidence Act, while contemplating execution of foreign letters rogatory, is silent on inspections of tangible things. The court, however, accepted Allianz’s representation that Canadian law did indeed allow for such inspections.

Second, the court correctly held that it was unnecessary to give Air Labrador or Korfez notice of the motion for issuance of the letter rogatory. Once the letter is transmitted to the Canadian court, that court will, presumably, issue a subpoena or an order, and Air Labrador and Korfez would have the ability to seek relief then.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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