Estate of Jonathan R. Cook et al. v. Arthur King Hall

[B]Date Decided[/B]: Feb 9[SUP]th[/SUP], 2011
[B]Decided By[/B]: Superior Court of Connecticut
[B]Court[/B]: Superior Court of Connecticut
[B]Citation[/B]: 2011 WL 783612
On September 3, 2009, Arthur King Hall (“Arthur Hall”) wasoperating a vessel under the authority of the vessel owner, Bennett Hall(“Bennett Hall”). At approximately 9:30 p.m. the vessel collided with a seawallresulting in the death of Jonathan R. Cook (“the Decedent”), a passenger on thevessel.
Plaintiffs Ronald P. Cook and Jean Roche Cook (“the Cooks”),acting as the co-administrations of the estate of the Decedent brought a civil suitin Connecticut state court against Arthur Hall alleging claims of negligenceand recklessness, and seeking damages for the death of the Decedent. The stateof Connecticut also filed criminal charges against Arthur Hall with regard toincident.
Bennett Hall filed a petition in the United States DistrictCourt for the District of Connecticut for exoneration from and/or limitation ofliability under the Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Act (“the LimitationAct”), [I]46 U.S.C.App. § 183(a)[/I],seeking to limit his liability for any damages from the incident.
Arthur Hall then filed a Motion for Protective Order instate court requesting the court postpone his upcoming deposition in his civil caseagainst the Cooks on the theory that allowing the deposition to go forwardwould compromise the preparation of his pending criminal trial. The Cookscontested the motion arguing that the Limitation Act applies only theshipowner, Bennett Hall, and not the ship operator, Arthur Hall.
Before the Superior Court of Connecticut is Hall’s Motionfor Protective Order to postpone his deposition in his civil case against theCooks.
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