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Allianz SpA and Generali Assicurazioni Generali SpA v. West Tankers Inc.
European Union Court of Justice
Case C-185/07, 2009 E.C.R. I-00663 (2009)
Erg Petroli SpA (Erg) chartered a ship owned by West Tankers, Inc. (defendant), which hit and damaged a jetty owned by Erg. The charter-party agreement between Erg and West Tankers included an arbitration clause stating disputes would be resolved by arbitration in London under English law. Insurance companies Allianz SpA and Generali Assicurazioni Generali SpA (the insurers) (plaintiffs) compensated Erg for some of the damage, and Erg began arbitration proceedings against West Tanker for the remainder. The insurers filed an action against West Tankers at the Tribunale di Siracusa in Italy under Italian subrogation law, seeking payment to compensate for their payouts to Erg. West Tankers argued that the Italian court lacked jurisdiction over the dispute because of the arbitration clause. West Tankers initiated parallel proceedings in the England and Wales High Court of Justice. West Tankers requested a judicial order declaring that the insurance dispute could be resolved only in arbitration and an antisuit injunction prohibiting the insurers from pursuing the Italian action or initiating other judicial proceedings related to the dispute. The High Court found in favor of West Tankers and issued the antisuit injunction against the insurers. The insurers appealed to the House of Lords, arguing that the antisuit injunction violated the Brussels I Regulation (the regulation). The House of Lords stayed the proceedings to refer a question about the compatibility of antisuit injunctions with the regulation to the European Union Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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