United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
Decided August 10, 2015
For Recovery Limited Partnership, Plaintiff: James L. Chapman, IV, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cyrus Wiley Grandy, Steven Michael Stancliff, Crenshaw Ware & Martin PLC, Norfolk, VA; Brett Alexander Spain, Conrad Moss Shumadine, Willcox & Savage PC, Norfolk, VA.
For Columbus America Discovery Group, Inc., Consolidated Claimant: Philip Norton Davey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Bryan Karl Meals, Davey & Brogan PC, Norfolk, VA.
For Michael Williamson, Estate of Don C. Craft, Kirk O'Donnell, John Lettow, Timothy McGinnis, Fred Newton, William Watson, Chris Hancock, Dale Schoeneman, International Deep Sea Survey, Inc., Interested Parties: Andrew Robert Oja, Holland & Knight LLP (McLean), McLean, VA.
REBECCA BEACH SMITH, CHIEF UNITED STATES JUDGE.
This matter comes before the court on the Motion for Award of Title (" Motion" ) and Memorandum in Support (" Memorandum" ), filed by the Plaintiff, Recovery Limited Partnership (" RLP" ), on September 5, 2014. ECF Nos. 139, 140. The Motion is now ripe for decision and, for the reasons set forth below, is DENIED.
I. Factual and Procedural History
The instant Motion is related to the litigation over the salvage rights to the wreck of the S.S. Central America (" Central America" ). This in rem action has resulted in numerous opinions, dating back to 1987. These opinions thoroughly review much of the factual and procedural history relevant to this extended litigation, and that history will not be repeated in detail here.
The Central America sank off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, on September 12, 1857, taking with it approximately 425 persons and $1,219,189 in gold (exclusive of passenger gold). Shortly thereafter, insurance underwriters in New York and London paid claims to the owners of the gold. The underwriters contemplated raising the wreck, but the location of the ship was unknown. The Central America and its treasure remained on the ocean floor until 1989, when RLP's agent, Columbus-America Discovery Group (" CADG" ), discovered the wreck's precise location, approximately 160 miles off the east coast of the United States, and some one and one-half miles below the surface.
Columbus-America Discovery Grp. v. Unidentified, Wrecked & Abandoned Sailing Vessel,
742 F.Supp. 1327
Columbus-America Discovery Grp. v. A. Mut. Ins. Co.,
974 F.2d 450
507 U.S. ...