Direct Actions, Declaratory Actions, Abstention, Interpleaders, and Other Practical Considerations

Marine practitioners must be aware of the issues that may arise when dealing with potential claims in the marine insurance context.  In some jurisdictions, both in the United States and abroad, plaintiffs may join the insurer in the lawsuit and seek recovery directly, rather than only through the insured.  In most jurisdictions, the plaintiff will likely prefer to have the case heard in state court, but the defendant will seek to have it in federal court.  To do this, the defendant may seek to remove the case once it is filed or to seek a declaratory action before the claim is made.  Additionally, when dealing with multiple potential claimants, the insurer may wish to file and interpleader and deposit the funds with the court.  This Article discusses these practical issues, and others, that may arise in a marine insurance claim.