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Flame S.A. v. Industrial Carriers, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division

October 22, 2014

FLAME S.A., Plaintiff,
v.
INDUSTRIAL CARRIERS, INC., et al., Defendants. GLORY WEALTH SHIPPING PTE LTD., Consolidated Plaintiff,

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

LAWRENCE R. LEONARD, Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court is Plaintiff Flame S.A.'s ("Flame") Second Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees and Costs, and accompanying memorandum in support.[1] ECF Nos. 428, 429. Flame's motion is predicated on the Court's August 8, 2014 Order, ECF No. 377, ("Sanctions Order") which was issued in response to Flame's Motion for Sanctions, ECF No. 326, and awarded Flame reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses, inter alia, as sanctions for Defendant Freight Bulk Pte LTD's ("FBP") violation of the Court's April 30, 2014 Discovery Order, ECF No. 210 ("Discovery Order").[2] In its Sanctions Order, the Court directed Flame to submit, within thirty days of the date of the Order, a motion substantiating its costs and fees pursuant to the factors enumerated in Robinson v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 560 F.3d 235, 243-44 (4th Cir. 2009). ECF No. 377 at 24. While Flame has now done so, seeking attorneys' fees in the amount of $39, 318.50, FBP did not file any opposition to this motion, and the time to do so has expired. Accordingly, Flame's motion is ripe for disposition.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In its Motion for Sanctions, Flame claimed that FBP failed to comply with the Discovery Order and cited nine categories of requested discovery that FBP had not produced in violation of the Discovery Order:

1. Corporate Records (ECF Nos. 324 at 7-9; 327 at 4-6).
2. Emails Sent or Received by Victor Baransky (ECF Nos. 324 at 9-10; 327 at 6-8).
3. Supporting Documentation for Bank Records (ECF Nos. 324 at 10-11; 327 at 8-10).
4. Attachment to the Loan Agreement Between Sea Traffic Shipping Co. and FBP (ECF Nos. 324 at 11-12; 327 at 10-11).
5. Charters for the M/V CAPE VIEWER and HARMONY FALCON (ECF Nos. 324 at 12-13; 327 at 11-13).
6. Documents from Industrial Carriers Inc. ("ICI") (ECF Nos. 324 at 13; 327 at 14).
7. Audit Documentation and Correspondence (ECF No. 327 at 13-14).
8. All Attachments to Emails and Other Documents (ECF No. 327 at 14-16).
9. Defense Evidence (ECF No. 327 at 16-17).

Flame consequently sought sanctions for FBP's violations, including attorneys' fees and costs it incurred because of FBP's failure to obey the Court's Discovery Order.[3] In its Sanction Order, the Court found that FBP did not violate the Court's Discovery Order in connection with its production of the supporting documentation for bank records, the charter parties for the CAPE VIEWER and HARMONY FALCON, audit documentation and correspondence, and defense evidence, but that FBP did violate the Court's Discovery Order by failing to produce documents pertaining to ICI, including corporate records, and the attachment to the loan agreement between Sea Traffic and FBP evidencing the loan repayment terms. ECF No. 377 at 19. In addition, the Court found that FBP violated the Discovery Order by failing to produce, in a timely fashion, Viktor Baransky's emails and the attachments thereto. Id. Evaluating FBP's conduct under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b)(2)(A) and the standards enunciated in Anderson v. Found. for Advancement, Educ. & Emp't of Am. Indians, 155 F.3d 500, 504 (4th Cir. 1998), the Court found that such conduct warranted the imposition of ...


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