On August 24, 2009, the Eastern District of New York ruled on plaintiff Callon Petroleum’s motion to amend its complaint by adding a statutory claim for punitive damages based on defendant National Indemnity’s bad faith failure to make a timely payment following the submission of the bond claim in the action. This action arose out of a judgment Callon obtained against its reinsurer Frontier Insurance Company in the form of a surety bond Frontier issued to Wood Energy Corporation. Defendant moved to dismiss plaintiff’s claims since it was not a party to the surety bond. The motion to dismiss was granted in part and denied in part, and over a year and a half later plaintiff moved to include the statutory claim.
Applying New York’s “center of gravity/grouping of contacts analysis,” the court concluded that New York law should be applied. The court noted that the reinsurance contract was negotiated and entered in New York, the place of performance was New York, and one of the contracting parties (Frontier) is domiciled in New York. Additionally, the arbitration clause in the contract requires all arbitration to take place in New York. Having determined that New York law should apply, the court denied the motion to amend, holding that the claim would be futile under New York law. Callon Petroleum Co. v. Nat’l Indem. Co., Case No. 06-CV-0573, (E.D. N.Y. Aug. 24, 2009).