The opinion of the court was delivered by: KEVIN FOX, Magistrate Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Plaintiff Maersk, Inc. ("Maersk") brought this action under this
court's admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1333, alleging breach of contract against International
Commodities Transportation Services, LLC, also known as I.C.T.S., Inc.
("ICTS"), Anthony L. Gilbert ("A. Gilbert"), and George Noel Gilbert, III
("G. Gilbert"). Upon the defendants' failure to answer or otherwise
respond to the complaint, the Clerk of Court entered a default against
them. Your Honor then referred the matter to the undersigned to conduct
an inquest and to report and recommend the amount of damages, if any, to
be awarded to the plaintiff against the defendants.
The Court directed the plaintiff to file and serve proposed findings of
fact and conclusions of law and an inquest memorandum setting forth its
proof of damages, costs of this action, and attorney fees. The defendants
were directed to file and serve opposing memoranda, affidavits and
exhibits, as well as any alternative findings of fact and conclusions of
law they deemed appropriate. The defendants were also directed to state
whether they wanted a hearing to be held for the purpose of examining
In support of its request for damages, the plaintiff served and filed
proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, a memorandum of law
with exhibits attached thereto ("Memorandum"), an affidavit of Rose
Austin with an exhibit attached thereto ("Austin Affidavit"), and an
affidavit of Alexander F. Vitale ("Vitale Affidavit"). Austin is an
employee of Maersk, and Vitale is the attorney representing the plaintiff
in this action.
The plaintiffs submissions aver that it is entitled to $108,808.65 in
damages for breach of contract, as well as prejudgment interest,
reasonable attorney fees, and costs.
The only response to the Court's directives by any defendant was a
letter from G. Gilbert to the undersigned, denying all allegations made
in the complaint in this action, and requesting that his "name be removed
from this case."*fn1
For the reasons set forth below, I recommend that plaintiff be awarded
$103,128.91 in contract damages and prejudgment interest on that amount,
to be computed in the manner described below.
Based on submissions by the plaintiff, the complaint filed in the
instant action the factual allegations of which, perforce of
defendants' default, must be accepted as true, except as they relate to
damages, see Au Bon Pain Corp. v. Artect, Inc., 653 F.2d 61, 65 (2d Cir.
1981) and the Court's review of the entire court file maintained
in this action, the following findings of fact are made:
Maersk is a New York corporation with an office located in this
judicial district. It is a common carrier of goods by ocean transport,
ICTS is a corporation with an office in Alabama, organized under the laws
of either Alabama or Washington. A. Gilbert and G. Gilbert are ICTS's
majority shareholders and serve as its president and vice-president,
On several occasions between September 1999 and February 2000, ICTS
contracted with Maersk to transport paper between various ports around
the world. A bill of lading setting forth shipping charges was generated
for each shipment. Maersk transported the cargos accordingly, but ICTS
refused the plaintiffs demands for payment. Thereafter, the plaintiff
filed this action in July 2001, seeking to recover $108,808.65, the
aggregate of unpaid shipping charges. In addition to this amount, the
plaintiff also seeks to recover prejudgment interest, and the attorney
fees and costs it incurred in bringing this action, $3,473.14.
In support of its request for damages, the plaintiff has submitted,
inter alia: 1) copies of the bills of lading, attached as an exhibit to
its Memorandum; 2) the Austin Affidavit, with a report summarizing unpaid
shipping charges attached ...