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Virginia International Terminals v. Virginia Electric and Power Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Newport News Division

May 22, 2014

VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TERMINALS, Plaintiff,
v.
VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY, et al., Defendants

For Virginia International Terminals, Plaintiff: Dustin Mitchell Paul, John Morgan Ryan, Thomas Saunders Berkley, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Vandeventer Black LLP, Norfolk, VA.

For Virginia Electric and Power Company, doing business as Dominion Virginia Power, Defendant: Richard Joshua Cromwell, LEAD ATTORNEY, McGuireWoods LLP (Norfolk), Norfolk, VA; Kenneth Abrams, McGuireWoods LLP (Richmond), Richmond, VA.

For Lockwood Brothers, Inc., Defendant: Rebecca Lynn Dannenberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Franklin & Prokopik PC, Herndon, VA; Joshua Matthew Hoffman, Cunningham & Associates, Arlington, VA.

OPINION

Page 600

OPINION & ORDER

HENRY COKE MORGAN, JR., SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Virginia Power and Electric Company, d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power's (" Dominion" or " Defendant" ) Motion to Dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (" Motion" ), Doc. 17, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). On March 24, 2014, the Court held a hearing on the instant Motion. Doc. 27. After careful consideration of the parties' briefs and hearing oral argument, the Court FOUND that it lacked subjected matter jurisdiction, GRANTED Defendant's Motion, and now sets forth its reasoning below.

I. Background And Procedural History

A. Factual Allegations[1]

In the Amended Complaint, Virginia International Terminals, Inc. (" VIT" or

Page 601

" Plaintiff" ) alleges the following facts: Plaintiff is a nonprofit and non-stock Virginia Corporation, and is an independent contractor that operates marine terminals in Hampton Roads for the benefit of the Virginia Port Authority, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Doc. 16, ¶ 1. Defendant Dominion is a Virginia Corporation that provides electricity to Virginia customers. Defendant Lockwood Brothers, Inc. (" Lockwood" or collectively " Defendants" ) is also a Virginia Corporation, and is a common freight carrier.

The instant cause of action arose from events that took place on March 10, 2012, when Dominion's gas turbine rotor (the " Rotor" ) was damaged during the unloading process at the Newport News Marine Terminal (" Terminal" ). Doc. 16, ¶ ¶ 24-25. Dominion contracted and entered into an agency relationship with Lockwood to transport, unload, and store the Rotor at Dominion's request. Doc. 16, ¶ 23. Unfortunately, during the unloading process at the Terminal, the Rotor was damaged when the VIT dockside crane's spreader bar and hook made contact with it. Doc. 16, ¶ 24.

Defendants believe VIT is liable for the damage to the Rotor, as they claim that the accident was caused by VIT's negligence in operating the crane. Doc. 16, ΒΆ 26. Plaintiff, however, alleges that prior to the accident, VIT made its Schedule of Rates (" Rates" ) available via its website to Defendants, and that absent an express, actual contractual agreement between VIT, Dominion, and Lockwood, the ...


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