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In re National Maintenance & Repair

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


September 11, 2009

IN THE MATTER OF NATIONAL MAINTENANCE & REPAIR, INC., AS OWNER PRO HAC VICE OF SPUDDED CRANE BARGE FOR EXONERATION FROM OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY, PLAINTIFF.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on the Motion for Restraining Order and Order Ad Interim (Doc. 4) filed by Plaintiff National Maintenance & Repair, Inc., as owner pro hac vice of crane barge BB-1. Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to restrain the institution and presentation of any and all suits, actions or legal proceedings against Barge BB-1 and Plaintiff with respect to any claim arising out of an incident which occurred on July 20, 2009. On that date, the headache ball attached to the Barge BB-1 crane suddenly came free and spooled downward, causing the ball to enter the engine room of the M/V Phyllis Lauder, which may have caused damage or injury to Robert Vandygriff and/or Shannon Blair, employees of Plaintiff, and/or others. Having been sufficiently advised, the Court GRANTS in part Plaintiff's motion.

The Court hereby ORDERS that Robert Vandygriff and Shannon Blair are restrained and enjoined from initiating or prosecuting any legal or administrative action or any other adversary proceeding relating to the liability of Plaintiff and/or Barge BB-1 with respect to the alleged incident of July 20, 2009, except in this Court.

The Court further ORDERS that Robert Vandygriff and Shannon Blair shall file any claims in relation to the aforementioned incident with the Clerk of Court and serve copies thereof on attorneys for Plaintiff on or before November 30, 2009. The Court may allow Robert Vandygriff and/or Shannon Blair to file claims past this deadline if deemed necessary by law and/or equity.

The Court further ORDERS that notice shall be given by publication in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, published in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, that all persons asserting claims with respect to the aforementioned incident must file their respective claims with the Clerk of Court and serve copies thereof on attorneys for Plaintiff by November 30, 2009, as provided by Rule F(4) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty and Maritime Claims of the United States Supreme Court. Such notice shall be drafted by Plaintiff and published once a week for four successive weeks between the date of this Order's entry and November 30, 2009. Plaintiff shall file an affidavit regarding its publication of this notice with a copy of the notice attached. The Court may allow potential claimants to file claims past the November 30 deadline if deemed necessary by law and/or equity. Plaintiff shall also mail, not later than one day after the second publication, a copy of said public notice to every person, firm, or corporation known to have made any claim against Barge BB-1 and/or Plaintiff arising out of said incident.

The Court further ORDERS that all claims and proceedings against Barge BB-1 and Plaintiff in relation to the aforementioned incident be restrained and enjoined, except in this Court, and any pending actions against said vessel and Plaintiff shall cease. Similarly, the Court ORDERS the enjoinment of the further prosecution of any action or proceeding against Barge BB-1 and Plaintiff with reference to any claim arising out of the aforesaid incident.

Finally, the Court ORDERS that the sum of $830,000 with interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of Plaintiff's Letter of Undertaking (Doc. 2, Exhibit #3) shall stand as approved security in these proceedings. Said Letter of Undertaking shall be deemed sufficient security of this amount until otherwise contested. In the Court's discretion, any party may have leave to apply to have the amount of this sum increased or decreased.

The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to mail a copy of this Order to Robert Vandygriff and/or his representative at 2182 Gerson Avenue, Godfrey, Illinois 62035. The Court further DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to mail a copy of this Order to Roy C. Dripps, attorney for Shannon Blair and/or her representative, at Armbruster Dripps Winterscheidt & Blotevogel, LLC, 219 Piasa Street, P. O. Box 8338, Alton, Illinois 62002.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090911

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