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PENNY v. UNITED FRUIT CO.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


November 28, 1994

AMELIA B. PENNY, as Administratrix of the Estate of SIDNEY J.R. PENNY, deceased, and AMELIA B. PENNY, individually, Plaintiff, against UNITED FRUIT COMPANY, UNITED BRANDS COMPANY, ELDERS & FYFFES LTD., ROYAL MAIL LINES, FURNESS WITHY GROUP, and/or FURNESS WITHY & CO., LTD., C.Y. TUNG, SHAW SAVILL & ALBION CO. LTD., BRITISH ROYAL NAVY c/o SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY, LONDON, ENGLAND, UNION CASTLE LINES, Defendants. AMELIA B. PENNY, as Administratrix of the Estate of SIDNEY J.R. PENNY, deceased, and AMELIA B. PENNY, individually, Plaintiff, -against- CUNARD S.S. CO., LTD., a/k/a and/or CUNARD STEAM-SHIP CO., LTD., Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RAYMOND J. DEARIE

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 DEARIE, District Judge.

 These two asbestos actions raise complex issues involving the interplay of admiralty and maritime law and long-arm jurisdiction. Plaintiff, the administratrix and widow, alleges that her late husband, Sidney J.R. Penny, was exposed to asbestos while working aboard ships owned by the defendants. Claiming that the exposure caused Mr. Penny's mesothelioma and subsequently his death, plaintiff seeks damages under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. ยง 688 et seq., the general maritime law, and the New York Estates, Power and Trusts Law.

 Defendants Cunard Steam-Ship Company, ("Cunard Steam"), Elders & Fyffes, Ltd. ("Elders"), Royal Mail Lines ("Royal Mail"), and Shaw Savill & Albion Co. Ltd. ("Shaw Savill") have moved to dismiss for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction or, alternatively, on forum non conveniens grounds. Defendants United Fruit Company ("United Fruit"), United Brands Company ("United Brands"), Furness Withy Group, and Furness Withy & Co., Ltd. ("Furness Withy") have moved for summary judgment on the grounds that they (i) did not own the ships on which the decedent worked and (ii) did not employ the decedent. *fn1" For the reasons stated below, defendants' motions are granted.

 BACKGROUND

 From 1958 to 1962, Sidney J.R. Penny, then a citizen of the United Kingdom, was employed as a chef or caterer on various oceangoing vessels owned by defendants. *fn2" In 1962, Mr. Penny retired from service and emigrated to the United States. Twelve years later, Mr. Penny was naturalized as a United States citizen. Some time thereafter, he developed mesothelioma and in 1986, at the age of 44, he succumbed to the disease. Ship and Date voyage Date voyage Owner Began Ended Carnarvon Castle April 9, 1958 May 23, 1958 (Union Castle) Southern Cross May 27, 1958 August 13, 1958 (Shaw Savill) Andes September 5, 1958 November 28, 1958 (Royal Mail) Andes December 15, 1958 April 15, 1959 (Royal Mail) Andes April 23, 1959 May 22, 1959 (Royal Mail) F.A. Airsprite June 29, 1959 July 22, 1959 (Royal Navy) Stirling Castle July 29, 1959 September 1, 1959 (Union Castle) Saxonia September 15, 1959 December 5, 1959 (Cunard Steam) Saxonia January 4, 1960 January 30, 1960 (Cunard Steam) Carnarvon Castle February 11, 1960 March 25, 1960 (Union Castle) Queen Mary March 29, 1960 June 7, 1960 (Cunard Steam) Queen Mary June 21, 1960 August 10, 1960 (Cunard Steam) (approximately) Queen Mary August 24, 1960 September 6, 1960 (Cunard Steam) Ivernia November 16, 1960 December 5, 1960 (Cunard Steam) Ivernia January 1, 1961 February 25, 1960 (Cunard Steam) Queen Elizabeth March 7, 1961 May 16, 1961 (Cunard Steam) Queen Elizabeth May 30, 1961 August 15, 1961 (Cunard Steam) Queen Elizabeth August 29, 1961 October 10, 1961 (Cunard Steam) S.S. Golfito November 28, 1961 December 24, 1961 (Elders) Queen Mary January 18, 1962 May 8, 1962 (Cunard Steam) Queen Mary May 22, 1962 July 3, 1962 (Cunard Steam)

19941128

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