Crowley v. Costa
A six-month limitations period governs maritime actions for exoneration and limitation of liability, pursuant to 46 United States Code §30511(a). Allegedly, a yacht known as "Moondance" broke free from its mooring during a storm and damaged the defendants' pier. The plaintiff owner of the yacht requested a declaratory judgment concerning his legal responsibility for damages. The plaintiff maintained that the pier lacked any economic value, because it exceeded the permitted length, and that the plaintiff used proper diligence when he moored the boat. The defendant owners of the pier moved to dismiss. Allegedly, the boat was lifted away from the defendants' property on or about Nov. 8, 2008. The plaintiff filed suit in December 2009, which was after the six-month limitations period in maritime actions expired, and the court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claim for exoneration and limitation of liability. The court also granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's requests for a declaratory judgment on value and damages, because the plaintiff effectively abandoned these claims.