United States District Court, W.D. Washington
G.O. AMERICA SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., Plaintiff,
CHINA COSCO SHIPPING CORPORATION LIMITED, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTIONS
J. Pechman United States District Judge
above-entitled Court, having received and reviewed:
Defendant COSCO Atlantic Shipping Ltd.' s Motion for
Increased Amount of Security for Costs (Dkt. No. 53),
Plaintiffs Response (Dkt. No. 58), and Defendant's Reply
(Dkt. No. 59);
Defendant COSCO Shipping Lines Co., Ltd.'s Motion to Stay
Execution of Process and Set Surety Bond Amount and Language
(Dkt. No. 64), Plaintiffs Response (Dkt. No. 67), and
Defendant's Reply (Dkt. No. 68); and
Defendant COSCO Atlantic Shipping Ltd.' s Motion to
Dismiss and/or to Vacate Rule B Attachment (Dkt. No. 70),
Plaintiffs Response (Dkt. No. 77), and Defendant's Reply
(Dkt. No. 78); all attached declarations and exhibits; and
relevant portions of the records, rules as follows:
ORDERED that the motion to dismiss is GRANTED, and this
matter is DISMISSED with prejudice.
FURTHER ORDERED that the remainder of the motions pending in
this matter are DISMISSED as MOOT.
factual and procedural background of this case is convoluted,
to say the least:
2017, Plaintiff filed a maritime claim against a shipyard in
China, naming the shipyard - China Shipping Industry
(Shanghai Changxing) Co. Ltd. - and a parent company -COSCO
Shipping Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. - as defendants ("the
Shipyard Defendants"). (Dkt. No. 1.) The complaint
alleged that Plaintiff had contracted with the shipyard to
repair its vessel, that the Shipyard Defendants had breached
the contract and were refusing to return the vessel to
after filing the complaint, Plaintiff filed an
exparte motion for a writ of attachment, which was
denied because Plaintiff had not identified any property of
the Shipyard Defendants within the district. (Dkt. No. 4.)
Plaintiff responded by filing an amended complaint and an
amended motion for an attachment writ - the amended pleadings
named COSCO SHIPPING Lines ("CSL" a subsidiary of
China COSCO SHIPPING Corporation, Ltd.) as a Defendant, but
failed to allege that CSL was involved with the shipyard or
was an alter ego of any sort.
in its attachment motion Plaintiff asserted that CSL owned
three vessels that would call on ports in this district -
COSCO TAICANG, COSCO EUROPE and COSCO KAOSHIUNG. The Court
granted the amended exparte motion and issued a writ
of attachment for the three ships. (Dkt. No. 8.) On June 30,
2017, Plaintiff attached the COSCO TAICANG.
same day, COSCO Atlantic Shipping ("Atlantic") -
the registered owner of COSCO TAICANG - entered a limited
appearance and moved to vacate the attachment on the grounds
that it was the publicly registered owner of the vessel, had
not been named as a defendant and had not been shown to be an
alter ego of any of the named Defendants. (Dkt. Nos. 14, 16.)
The motion was granted on the grounds that the seized vessel
was not the property of any named Defendant. The writ was
vacated only as to COSCO TAICANG; the other vessels
remain subject to attachment.
the vacatur, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Verified
Complaint ("SAC;" Dkt. No. 56) naming other
shipping companies within the COSCO conglomerate - in
addition to Atlantic, also named were Shanghai Ocean Shipping
Co., COSCO Indian Ocean Shipping Ltd. (owner of the COSCO
KAOSHIUNG), and COSCO Oceania Shipping Ltd. (owner of the
COSCO OCEANIA) (hereinafter, collectively, "the Shipping
analyzing the parties' arguments under FRCP 12(b)(6), the
Court must accept all facts alleged in the complaint as true,
and draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Barkery. Riverside County Office of
Educ, 584 F.3d 821, 824 (9th Cir. 2009). To survive a
motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs "factual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level on the assumption that all the allegations in the
complaint are true." Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
recitals of all the elements of a cause of action, supported
by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The
plaintiff must plead facts "that allow the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Id. Factual
allegations "that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability... stop short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief."
Id. The Court should award dismissal where a
complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory or fails to allege
sufficient facts to establish a cognizable legal theory.
Johnson v. Riverside Healthcare Sys., 534 F.3d 1116,
1121 (9th Cir. 2008). Merely ...