Aggarao v. MOL Ship Mgmt. Co., Ltd., No. 10-2211
Decided Mar. 16, 2012
Plaintiff Potenciano L. Aggarao, Jr., a citizen of the Philippines, brought suit against defendants for damages arising from injuries he sustained while employed as an able seaman aboard the M/V Asian Spirit in the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore. Aggarao alleged multiple claims against the defendants, including unseaworthiness, maintenance and cure, breach of contract, violation of the Seaman’s Wage Act, and negligence under general maritime law and the Jones Act. The district court dismissed the Complaint for improper venue, concluding that Aggarao is contractually obligated to arbitrate his claims in the Philippines; and denied as moot Aggarao’s motion for a preliminary injunction to compel the defendants to provide maintenance and cure in the United States. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Aggarao’s complaints, concluding that Aggarao must arbitrate his claims against the defendants. However, the Court disagreed that the district court’s dismissal of the complaint rendered the motion for injunction moot. Therefore, the Fourth Circuit remanded the case for assessment of the injunction request.
-Sara I. Salehi