In re Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, LLC

Aramark field a Limitations of Liability Act case seeking limitation of potential liability in an admiralty wrongful death suit. The district court denied limitation. The panel reversed and remanded. It first held that under 28 USC 1292(a)(3), orders denying limitation are appealable as they are orders determining the rights of parties to an admiralty suit and this holding is the same as holdings in other federal circuits. The panel held that foreseeability of harm is not the basis of imposing a duty under the Restatement 3rd of Torts policy may be invoked to limit duty and here there is no duty to warn about weather as the users of the boat had the duty to protect themselves and could obtain the weather reports themselves (which is the position of all reported cases on the issue), there was no duty to stop renting boats and close the marina as decisions to close the national park are in government hands and imposing a duty here would run counter to the limits on liability for those involved in providing land or other goods or series for recreation purposes. The panel held that lather is a duty to warn about the wind speed limitations for safe operation of the boat in question given the greater knowledge of Aramark and no countervailing policy considerations. As the district court rejected limitation based on duty to warn about the weather, the case was remanded for analysis under the correct rule of law.

ACE Fire Underwriters Insurance Company v Romero

ACE appealed the declaratory judgment that it was liable for $2 million under a policy instead of the $1 million per accident limitation. The panel reversed. It held the New Mexico Supreme Court held a virtually identical policy to limit liability to the per accident limit and the listing of trucks and trailers covered by the policy which did not list additional limitations did not change the outcome as the truck involved here was in fact subject to the per accident limit and in any event adopting Romero’s interpretation would involve inserting language into the policy which the panela cannot do.