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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

MONTECALVO v. ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
3:14-cv-08109 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
FRANK MONTECALVO
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
District of New Jersey
Date Filed: 
Dec 30 2014

Petitioner FRANK MONTECALVO, as Owner of the M/Y WASTE KNOT
(“Petitioner”), by its attorneys Blank Rome, LLP, complaining of the above-named Respondent
ACE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY (“ACE” or “Respondent”), alleges upon
information and belief as follows:

NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. This is a proceeding pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.,
to compel Respondent ACE to arbitrate a dispute arising under a contract of marine insurance,
which requires arbitration of any controversy or claim “arising out of or relating to” the policy in
accordance with the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Rules for Non-Administered
Arbitration.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
2. This action is within the Court’s admiralty and maritime subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 1333, and is within the meaning of Rule 9(h) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, because the matter involves a contract of marine insurance.  
3. This Court also has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 USC §1331 because the
matter involves a federal question under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq.
(“FAA”) and The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards,
21 U.S.T. 2517, T.I.A.S. No. 6997, 330 U.N.T.S. 38 (1970), implemented by 9 U.S.C. § 201 et
seq. (the “New York Convention”).
4. Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 because Respondent
ACE is subject to personal jurisdiction in this District and a substantial part of the events giving
rise to the claim occurred in this District.
THE PARTIES
5. At all material times, Petitioner Frank Montecalvo was and now is a resident of
the State of New Jersey and brings this petition as the present owner of the M/Y WASTE KNOT
(the “Vessel”).
6. At all material times, Respondent ACE was and now is a corporation duly
organized and existing under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, with its principal place of
business in the State of Pennsylvania.
FACTS
7. Mr. Montecalvo is the owner of the Vessel, a 2005 56-foot long Carver 560
Voyager called the “WASTE KNOT.”  
8. ACE issued one or more written insurance policies to Mr. Montecalvo with
respect to the Vessel whereby ACE would insure Mr. Montecalvo against certain losses under
the terms of a “Recreational Marine Insurance Yachtsman” Policy for the period May 9, 2012 to
May 9, 2013.  Said insurance policy bears the policy number Y0677366A (the “Policy”).
9. The Arbitration Clause in the aforementioned Policy provides for the settlement
of any and all disputes related to the Policy by arbitration.  Specifically, the Arbitration clause
reads as follows:
ARBITRATION:  Any controversy or claim, whether based on
contract, tort, statute or other legal or equitable theory . . . arising
out of or related to this policy . . . shall be referred to and settled by
arbitration in accordance with the then current CPR Institute for
Dispute Resolution Rules for Non-Administered Arbitration and
this provision.  This arbitration shall be governed by the
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign
Arbitral Awards, implemented at 9 U.S.C. §§201-2-8 . . . The
arbitration shall be held in the state appearing in your address
contained upon the Declaration Page and in accordance with the
following procedure . . . .  
10. The Vessel was damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 during
the applicable policy period.  
11. On May 25, 2014, after several requests, ACE finally provided Mr. Montecalvo
with the Damage Appraisal report prepared by Alcus Marine Technical Services, Inc.
(“AMTS”).
12. The AMTS Damage Appraisal represents that AMTS estimates that the cost to
repair the Vessel is $270,488.09.  
13. Acting as a prudent insured, Mr. Montecalvo retained the services of TMS to
perform a damage appraisal. The inspection and subsequent report prepared by TMS estimates
the cost to repair the Vessel is $578,675.72.  
14. The parties could not agree on the cost of repairs, so by letter dated December 9,
2014, Mr. Montecalvo requested pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Policy that the
dispute regarding the cost of repairs be arbitrated.  
15. ACE retained counsel and counsel for the parties communicated with each other
regarding conducting a joint survey and arbitrating the dispute but no agreement was reached.  
16. To date, ACE refuses to arbitrate the dispute.  A reasonable time has elapsed since
demand to submit to arbitration was made upon ACE.

REQUEST FOR RELIEF
17. Petitioner repeats and realleges each and every allegation in paragraphs 1 through
16 as if set forth in full herein.   
18. The agreement to arbitrate in the Policy is enforceable by this Court under the
Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., which authorizes this Court, upon this Petition, to
enter an Order directing that arbitration proceed in the manner provided for in the arbitration
provision of the Policy.  Petitioner therefore seeks a declaration that Respondent ACE is
obligated to arbitrate in New Jersey and order thereon pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 4.
19. Petitioner reserves its claim for its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in
making this Petition, and in seeking an order appointing an arbitrator and an order compelling
Respondent ACE to participate in New Jersey arbitration, and granting such other and further
relief as may be just in the premises.  
WHEREFORE, Petitioner Frank Montecalvo, as Owner, of the M/Y WASTE KNOT,
prays that in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act, this Honorable Court
(i)  enter an order appointing an arbitrator; and  
(ii)  grant the relief requested herein compelling Respondent ACE to arbitrate Petitioner’s
claims in accordance with the arbitration provision of ACE’s marine insurance Policy; and  
(iii)  grant Petitioner such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

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