The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied cross motions for summary judgment, ruling that plaintiff’s veil-piercing allegations were insufficient to establish liability against a non-party for payments due on an insurance agreement, as a matter of law.

Plaintiff insurer sued insured for amounts due under a maritime insurance agreement. Plaintiff also asserted a claim for the amount due against a non-party to the agreement under an alter-ego theory of liability. Plaintiff asserted that the two defendants shared offices, telephone numbers, the same managing director, were commonly owned and that the non-party had been involved in communications about the insurance policy. Defendant argued that it never made any premium payments on behalf of the insured and that a cross-claim between the two defendants was pending. The court ruled that plaintiff’s evidence did not establish that the non-party defendant “egregiously dominated and controlled” the insured, precluding judgment as a matter of law in favor of the plaintiff.

The court also addressed a recent Second Circuit case on the issue of the attachment of electronic fund transfers passing through the Southern District of New York and facilitated by intermediary banks. The court vacated its own attachment order, holding that such transfers are not properly the subject of attachment and also noted that the length of time electronic fund transfers may be held by New York intermediary banks does not affect whether they can be attached. (American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection v. Cleopatra Nav. Co. Ltd., 2010 WL 850185, No. 07 Civ. 9353 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 2010))